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Mastercard announces Google Pay rollout across Europe

Starting today, Mastercard will extend the Google Pay service to cardholders across Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, and Romania together with its issuing partners, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

With Google Pay, users with eligible Android devices will be able to make secure, fast and convenient purchases in stores and online. It will also give them the option to use their phones to make contactless payments.

Mastercard will provide this service in cooperation with various issuers and fintechs including Banca Transilvania, Bunq, CEC Bank, Curve, LHV Pank, Monese, N26, Paynetics, Revolut, Swedbank, Unicredit Bank Romania, and Viva Wallet.

Following the start of the pandemic, contactless transactions have jumped to nearly 80% across Europe, Mastercard says. As consumers began to use less cash, many embraced contactless as a safe, convenient, and quick payment option – a change that is expected to stand the test of time.

Milán Gauder, executive vice president of product and innovation, Europe at Mastercard noted, "Delivering choice and innovation in payments is an important part of how we improve people’s everyday life. With hygiene becoming a high priority for many people, we want to make sure that we continue to deliver innovative solutions for touch-free payments. Today’s rollout empowers customers to pick the most convenient and safest method of payment that fits their need at any particular moment. To that end, we are delighted to join forces with Google to provide the people we serve some ease, speed and peace of mind."

Florence Diss, head of payments partnerships, Google, added "More than ever, people are keen to use simple and secure solutions to pay online and contactless in stores. Thanks to the close collaboration with Mastercard, cardholders of participating partners in 10 new European countries will be able to use Google Pay through their respective mobile banking apps. We hope everyone will enjoy the benefits that come with using their Android phone to pay in millions of places around the world."

To be able to use Google Pay in these new markets, Android users can select the ‘Add to Google Pay’ button within the participating mobile banking apps in order to add their Mastercard to Google Pay. After adding their Mastercard, they will be able to access all the benefits that come with Google Pay via their banking app.

Once the card has been added to Google Pay, users can use their phone to tap and pay wherever contactless transactions are accepted, such as in a store or for public transport. Neither Google Pay or the mobile banking app need to be opened for this, nor is an Internet connection required. People can tap and pay with the device that’s already in their hands without the need to take out their wallet or use a pin pad. Additionally, people can go over the predefined contactless transaction limit simply by unlocking their phone before making the payment.

While bringing convenience, linking a Mastercard card with Google Pay brings an added layer of security via Mastercard’s "Tokenization" technology. The platform protects cardholder information by replacing account numbers with a unique alternate card number, or "token."