Android Pay Heads to the Islands — Japan and Ireland

© Can Stock Photo / photogersonAndroid Pay is heading to the islands, but not the ones you may be dreaming of on these dreary December days. Instead, Google’s mobile payments platform has landed in Ireland and Japan.

The mobile payments platform landed on the Emerald Isle on Dec. 2 and is currently live with two banks. Users were told in a blogpost that they could “add an eligible Mastercard or Visa card (credit or debit) from AIB and KBC with more banks being added in the coming months.”

Today, Android Pay landed in Japan, which, like Germany, is notoriously a cash-loving country. This can be problematic for foreigners who plan to stay for long periods of time — Japanese bank accounts are hard to come by. But mobile use is ubiquitous, so perhaps Japanese consumers can leapfrog card and move straight to mobile.

The Japan rollout is being done in concert with the e-commerce giant Rakuten. From Google’s blogpost:

We are launching with Rakuten Edy, so you can use Android Pay at over 470,000 locations in Japan that accept Rakuten Edy eMoney – including shops like Bic Camera, Family Mart, Lawson, McDonald’s and Yodobashi Camera.

The post goes on to say Android Pay and Rakuten Edy eMoney are “working with payments companies like The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., Visa and Mastercard in many new ways — such as helping you speed through checkout with Android Pay in your favorite apps.”

Apple Pay preceded Android on both islands. It arrived in Ireland in the summer of 2015, and in Japan this past October.

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Philip Ryan is Senior Editor of Bank Innovation and Senior Director of INV Fintech. He began covering financial services in 2012 and has more than 15 years' experience in online journalism, which makes him quite old. He can be reached at

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