Google Pay launched in Israel, major banks sign deals

Google Pay launched in Israel, major banks sign deals

JERUSALEM Reuters - Alphabet Inc's Google Pay launched in Israel on Tuesday, with Israel's major banks and credit card companies saying they had signed agreements with Google to offer the new payment service.

The service will allow Android mobile users to pay for products in stores that allow contactless payments.

According to Israeli media, some 70% of Israelis have Android phones, which could potentially lead to a big market for Google Pay, which has more than 150 million users in more than 40 countries worldwide.

In May, Apple launched Apple Pay in Israel, where 30% of people have iPhones.

An estimated two-thirds of payment terminals in Israel support the wireless payment standard that allows payments by mobile phone, smart watch or credit card, according to Bank of Israel data.

Since ApplePay entered the market, 58.1% of credit card purchases in October were contactless and through digital wallets, reaching 373.8 million shekels in October.

According to Shva chief executive Eitan Lev Tov, the entry of Google Pay will lead to a further increase in digital wallets.

Israel's large banks and credit card companies, which issue Visa, Mastercard and American Express cards, said in individual statements that they had signed the agreements with Google to offer Google Pay, with some banks giving cash back to customers for using the service.