Google's digital payment service, Google Pay, officially launched in Israel on Tuesday, allowing users of devices operated by Android to make purchases in most stores in the country.
Google Play is set to be available to Israelis belonging to all banks and credit companies.
The move came six months after Google's main competitor Apple had launched its digital wallet services, Apple Pay, in the country.
The Google Pay app can be downloaded for free, and in order to activate it, the user has to provide a credit card number. It is also recommended to protect your phone with a PIN, a fingerprint, or a face (or all three).
In order to use the app, customers need to unlock their phone screen, attach the phone to a supporting payment register at the business where they wish to make a purchase, and the transaction will be completed without the need of the secret passcode. At the moment, all credit card payments in Israel require a code when purchasing items worth NIS 300 or over.
Google Pay's launch in Israel was made possible due to the country's businesses' shift to the EMV security standard, which uses a chip and a one-time-use token instead of the magnetic strip. Thanks to this technology, customers can pay by simply attaching their credit cards or mobile phones to the registers, given they installed some digital wallet app.
MasterCard reported that the percentage of mobile transactions grew by some 400% since the beginning of the year, but only some 7% of the total purchases could support this kind of technology in the designated registers.
According to credit card company Max, there is a monthly increase of some 10% in digital wallet users, however, credit card companies claim the number of people who use their phones as a payment method is still small.