Compared to major rivals Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, Android Pay hasn’t exactly impressed with its swift global expansion since debuting stateside way back in September 2015. Google needed almost nine months to officially tackle the digital wallet platform’s second market, the UK, struggling to keep up with the fast-spreading competition throughout 2016 and the early stages of 2017.
At its I/O developer conference in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, the search giant unveiled a decent slate of new regions slated to support the mobile payment service “over the coming months.”
As it turns out, at least three of those five countries are already prepared to embrace Big G’s tap-to-pay solution, including Taiwan today, mere hours after Canada. Now, the East Asian state may not sound like a major market in the grand scheme of NFC-powered contactless technology growth, but Apple and Samsung recently launched both their contending apps locally, with wide-ranging backing from financial institutions.
In contrast, Android Pay can only tout Visa and MasterCard credit card functionality for customers of two banks, CTBC and First Commercial Bank, though EnTie Bank, Hua Nan and Shin Kong should join the club “soon” enough.
No words on Cathay United, Taishin International or Union Bank support, the three being among the top industry dogs championing Google’s archenemies.
On the bright side, any Android smartphone user running OS build 4.4 and up in Taiwan can make easy, secure payments on the fly at many physical retailers, from PX Mart to Carrefour, Watsons and RT-Mart, as well as online and in apps like Watsons, CrazyMike and Timeless Truth Mask.