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Android Pay in Russia: the first problems and their solution

Requirements for devices and payment terminals

The system requirements are very democratic: the smartphone must run on Android version 4.4 KitKat or higher, and, of course, have an NFC chip directly for making payments. But there are several important limitations that are associated with ensuring the confidentiality of payment data. First, the device must have official, Google-certified firmware installed.

Developer versions and third-party firmware are not supported by the system. Secondly, the bootloader must be locked, and root rights must be disabled. How to get around these restrictions, read in our material. Thirdly, several smartphone models are not supported (the full list can be found here), and the Knox service must be disabled on Samsung devices.

If all the requirements are met, then using Android Pay it will be possible to pay in the vast majority of terminals that support contactless payment. For example, VeriFone VX 820, popular in Russian stores, supports technology from Google. However, the presence of one of the following logos on the terminal will be a full guarantee.

Apple Pay, launched in Russia on October 4, 2016, also works with most contactless payment terminals, but not many devices support the technology. These are all iPhones released in 2014 or later (that is, those with an NFC chip), both generations of Apple Watch, and laptops with Touch ID (for online shopping).

Samsung Pay, which has been operating in Russia since September 29, 2016, is similarly supported by all flagships of the S and Note lines, starting from 2015 (with NFC on board), the A model range of 2016 and 2017, as well as “smart” Gear S3 watch. However, the South Korean service stands out from the competition with its Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology, which Samsung has exclusive rights to.

However, Samsung also sets a significant limitation: their payment service will work correctly in Russia only on devices certified by Rostest, that is, on “white” devices. If the device is “gray” or purchased abroad, you will have to play around a bit: install Russian firmware (SER region) or install the Russian framework, and then the Samsung Pay service itself.

Online and App Purchases

To make purchases on the site or in the application using Android Pay, the retailer must place a special button. Of course, information for developers on this part, as well as on the entire service, is in the public domain. At the same time, the data is protected in the same way as when paying at the terminal, so there is still no need to worry about information leakage.

By clicking on the Pay button with a green robot, the user enters the Android Pay application, where he confirms the payment, and the purchase is almost instantly considered paid. Of course, the device must meet the requirements, and the user must be registered in the Android Pay system for a successful payment.

Apple and Samsung offer in-app purchases in exactly the same way. The store adds a corresponding button to its website and application, and the user can pay for the purchase, not only without looking into the wallet – without even leaving the current application. Of course, the button will be present only when using equipment that meets the requirements of Apple or Samsung, respectively.

On May 23, when Android Pay was officially launched in Russia, some users discovered that the application was not available or did not work on their devices. The official Google support site lists smartphones that do not support Android Pay. Among them are Elephone P9000, Evo 4G LTE, Nexus 7 (2012), Samsung Galaxy Note III, Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy Light.

In addition to the models announced on the Google website, users of other devices from different brands encountered a problem when installing the Android Pay application. In particular, problems are observed on smartphones Meizu, Xiaomi, OnePlus and others.

Solution: for many popular devices, forum users have already compiled detailed instructions for launching Android Pay. Perhaps a solution to the problem has already been found for your smartphone. How to find out:

  • go to the topic about Android Pay and find your gadget through the search;
  • go to the topic thread about your device, open the topic of your device and see the latest messages, as well as the topic header (don’t forget about the search function);
  • go to the topic of flashing your smartphone and see the solution on the last pages or header.

Tip: even if your smartphone is on the list of unsupported devices, it makes sense to try installing Android Pay on it. For example, we personally tested the operation of Android Pay on the Galaxy S8 with the “incompatible” MyKnox function – everything worked, but before that, you need to set Android Pay as the main payment system in the device settings. In the case of other devices, go to the profile topic – it is possible that there is already a solution there.

What banks and cards does it work with

At the time of launch in Russia, the payment system works with Visa and MasterCard cards of the following banks: AK BARS Bank, Alfa-bank, Binbank, VTB-24, MTS Bank, Otkritie (and its constituents Rocketbank and Tochka), Promsvyazbank , Raiffeisen Bank, Rosselkhozbank, Russian Standard, Sberbank, Tinkoff Bank, as well as with Yandex. Money. Since its launch, the vast majority of large Russian offline retailers have supported the technology.

There is reason to believe that in the near future the list will be replenished, as it happened with the services of competitors. Apple Pay in the first month in Russia cooperated with only nine banks, and at the time of publication of the material, there were already 14 banks on the list (including Sberbank), plus the Yandex. Money. At first, Samsung also had an agreement with a small number of banks, and only MasterCard could be connected. Today, the technology is supported by Visa, and a total of 15 banks operating in Russia, plus the same Yandex. Money.

If you have a root or unlocked bootloader

Solution: Please read our special news to fix this issue.

Instructions for rooted smartphones

A large number of Xiaomi smartphone owners have an unlocked bootloader, developer firmware and Xposed modules. For such devices, there is a separate instruction for launching Android Pay

How to make Android Pay work on Xiaomi

Data Protection

The security technology of Android Pay is no different from that of Apple Pay or Samsung Pay. It is based on the principle of tokenization, when for each transaction in the “cloud” a unique set of characters is formed – a token – instead of the real details of the payment card connected to the service. This does not mean that every payment with Android Pay will require an internet connection.

Tokens are generated in advance when synchronizing the application with servers, stored in the device’s memory and “taken” from there when making a payment. Real data is encrypted, stored on Google servers and used only when generating tokens, that is, without being tied to any of the transactions. However, a large number of supported devices from different manufacturers means that Google will only protect data on its server and at the OS level, unlike Apple and Samsung, which allocate special storage for these purposes in each device.

Android Pay cryptosystem

Android Pay in Russia: the first problems and their solution

Of course, the payment process itself is also protected. Android Pay doesn’t require you to scan your finger like it does on Apple devices (where it only asks for a password after a few failed scan attempts), which makes sense given the lack of a fingerprint scanner on many Android devices. The Google service uses the same security method as a screen lock, whether it’s a fingerprint scanner, PIN code, pattern or face recognition. If the screen lock is disabled on the device, Android Pay automatically erases the data about the connected card – they will have to be entered again.

In case of loss, or if the device was stolen, you can remotely lock it, change the password or erase all data using the Android Device Manager service on any computer connected to the Web.

Apple Pay rightly considers tokenization, Touch ID, and the Find My Phone remote lock service for a lost or stolen device to be sufficient to protect user payment information. Therefore, in addition to them, it clearly does not use any technologies.

Samsung Pay, in addition to tokens and biometric sensors, offers its own Knox security program. It also encrypts card data and monitors activity, alerting you to suspicious account transactions.

Problem with zip code

In a number of Google services, there has long been a problem with specifying a postal code, which is inherent in Russia. Android Pay is no exception. The essence of the problem lies in the fact that when registering, the user is required to indicate, in addition to the city of residence, the area where he is located and the postal code. It is at this stage that some users experience a hitch.

Google knows all the postal codes of Russia, but it sets priority not for the city, but for the region. For example, for the city of Moscow, if you try to enter the correct postal code, an error will occur. The fact is that Google does not accept federal cities and believes that the index should be from the list for the Moscow region.

Solution: residents of cities of federal significance can indicate the name of their city in the “City” and “Region” sections, and their real postal code in the “Zip Code” section. For example, for residents of Moscow, you get “Moscow”, “Moscow” and “140500”.

Android Pay in Russia: the first problems and their solution

There is another way to solve the index problem. As a city, you indicate Moscow or St. Petersburg, and the region – Moscow or Leningrad, respectively. Then indicate the postal code of any regional city. For Moscow it can be 140500, and for St. Petersburg – 187111.

Problems with payment

The payment terminal does not accept the card linked to the smartphone. Payment from a smartphone and the use of discount or bonus cards is possible only in those places where the terminal has a contactless payment sign or the Android Pay logo.

In practice, users encountered a number of problems:

  • contactless terminals are not yet available in all stores;
  • contactless payment in the terminal can be disabled;
  • banal failures due to the not yet debugged operation of the system.

Solution: Since Android Pay supports a huge number of banks and services, it is not surprising that such a large and complex system does not work perfectly at the very beginning. Therefore, at least for the first time, we recommend that you still carry a regular bank card or cash with you.

Pay for purchases up to 1,000 rubles without entering a PIN code. Users have noticed that when making a purchase in the amount of less than 1,000 rubles, no PIN code or fingerprint is required. You should not worry – plastic cards from MasterCard with PayPass technology and Visa with payWave work in a similar way. It also depends on the policy of a particular bank and stores.

Solution: If you lose your smartphone, contact your bank’s support team as soon as possible and block the cards connected to Android Pay so that no one can use them.

Decision: Unfortunately, we cannot influence this situation in any way. Follow our news – we will definitely tell you when the promotion starts and you can pay in the metro with a 50% discount.

Android Pay in Russia: the first problems and their solution

Aeroexpress also offers a promotion to celebrate the launch of Android Pay in Russia. Here everything went smoothly and exactly as the organizers promised. Since May 23, 3,000 tickets purchased using Android Pay with a linked MasterCard have been sold at a 50% discount.

Solution: Buying an Aeroexpress ticket is cheaper, even if not by 50%, even now. To do this, you need to purchase it in advance through the official website with a 20% discount.

How to start using Android Pay

First of all, you need to install the Android Pay application from the official Google store or from the apk file. The application interface is simple, intuitive and similar to other services of the company, so you won’t have to get used to anything. Of course, you can add several cards and assign the main one for payment by default.

After that, you can safely go to a store or website that supports contactless payments. To pay in a supermarket, it is enough to unlock the smartphone and bring it to the terminal without launching the application – the money will be debited from the card by default.


Despite the fact that the mobile payment market in Russia has been occupied by Apple and Samsung for more than six months (and don’t forget about bank applications that also allow you to make payments using your smartphone), Android Pay has very good chances, at least on an equal footing take a place among other services, and there are three reasons for this.

Android Pay

First, the mobile payment market itself is growing all over the world, including in Russia, which means it is too early to talk about final segmentation. The second reason is the already mentioned number of Android devices, which are used by a significantly larger number of people than the flagships of Apple and Samsung. Finally, the third is a bet on loyalty programs that Google makes. Even before the launch of Android Pay in Russia, it became known about discounts for passage to the Moscow metro and the MCC using the application.

Users can only hope that this is not the last loyalty program, and that banks and stores will be willing to cooperate with Google. This will not only greatly simplify the life of buyers with Android smartphones, but also spur healthy competition in the market, thereby developing the economic situation as a whole.


  • number of supported devices;
  • several ways to protect payments;
  • active loyalty program.


  • does not work on third-party firmware;
  • there is no dedicated data protection area in devices.

Lyricist: Max Dvorak

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