How to Accept Google Pay in the UK

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Staying ahead means adopting the technology your customers prefer. Google Pay is at the forefront of digital wallets, offering users a quick and secure way to pay with their Android devices. As contactless payments become the norm in the UK, incorporating Google Pay has become a requirement for many businesses.

Whether you already take credit card payments or are looking to expand your current options, we’ll give you the necessary steps to integrate Google Pay into your shop and website.

Finding a Payment Processor with Google Pay Support

Google Pay is a digital wallet platform that allows users to make payments with their mobile devices, and it can be used for both in-person and online transactions. You need to have a way to process payments, for which you’ll need a payment processor.

Some payment processors may require you to have a merchant account with them (e.g. Barclays Merchant Services, Lloyds Bank Cardnet, and HSBC Merchant Services), while others (e.g. Square or Stripe) offer a more consolidated service that includes processing payments without requiring a traditional merchant account.

Selecting an NFC-enabled Card Reader

If you’re running a physical store, you can accept Google Pay by using point-of-sale (POS) systems that support contactless payments. Many modern card readers can handle NFC (near-field communication) transactions, which is the technology behind Google Pay and other mobile payment systems like Apple Pay.

To effectively select an NFC-enabled card reader for Google Pay, consult with your POS system provider or refer to the system documentation to identify compatible card readers. This ensures seamless integration with your existing setup.

Look for card readers explicitly stating support for EMV contactless payments, including Google Pay, by reviewing product specifications or contacting the manufacturer.

Setting Up Your NFC-Enabled Card Machine

Here’s a general step-by-step guide to setting up a card reader with Google Pay. Keep in mind that specific steps may vary depending on the model:

  • Install the NFC-enabled card reader according to the manufacturer’s instructions, ensuring it’s connected to your POS system. This may be through USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Ethernet.
  • Power on the card reader and activate NFC capabilities, which may involve accessing the device settings through a physical button or software menu.
  • Open your POS system’s payment settings and add Google Pay as an accepted payment method.

How to Process Google Pay Transactions

There’s more than one way customers can use Google Pay to pay for your services:

Via Card Machine

The process for in-store transactions with Google Pay is similar to other contactless payments, which are becoming the norm in the UK. Here’s how it typically works:

  1. You ring up the customer’s purchase on your POS system as you would with any transaction.
  2. Inform the customer that they can make the payment using Google Pay. The customer needs to ensure their phone screen is active and may need to unlock their phone screen if the payment is over £45. They may also need to authenticate the payment depending on their settings.
  3. Check that the NFC card reader is on and indicates it’s ready to accept a payment.
  4. The customer holds their phone close to the NFC card reader.
  5. The NFC card reader communicates wirelessly with the customer’s phone and requests a payment token.
  6. The customer’s device sends a token (a secure, virtual version of their card details) to the NFC reader.
  7. Your POS system receives the token from the NFC reader and processes the payment as it would a traditional card payment.
  8. Look for a confirmation message on your POS system indicating that the transaction has been successful.
  9. You can then provide the customer with a receipt if necessary and complete the sale.

Via Your Website

There are a few ways to integrate Google Pay into your website, but the easiest by far is to choose a payment processor like Stripe, Square, or PayPal. They offer straightforward integration options for adding Google Pay as a payment method on your checkout page.

Each payment processor is different, but let’s look at the setup process for Stripe as an example.

  1. Log into your Stripe dashboard.
  2. In the Stripe dashboard, navigate to “Settings” and then to the “Payment methods” section. Here you can find Google Pay listed among other payment methods. Click on it and enable Google Pay for your account.
  3. Install the Stripe plugin for your platform.
  4. For WooCommerce on WordPress, go to “Plugins” > “Add New” and search for “Stripe Payment Gateway” by WooCommerce or a similar trusted plugin that supports Google Pay.
  5. For Shopify, you would typically use the built-in Stripe integration and enable Google Pay in the payment settings.
    For Magento, navigate to the Magento Marketplace and search for a Stripe payment module that includes Google Pay support.
  6. For other platforms, check their documentation.
  7. Once the plugin is installed, activate it and go to its settings page. Connect your Stripe account by providing your Stripe API keys, which you can find in your Stripe dashboard under the “Developers” > “API keys” section.
  8. Within the plugin settings, look for the option to enable Google Pay. This might be under payment methods, checkout settings, or a similar section depending on the plugin. Follow the plugin’s instructions to enable Google Pay. This usually involves a simple toggle switch or checkbox.
  9. If possible, use the plugin’s sandbox or test mode to place a test order on your site and go through the checkout process using Google Pay. Verify that the transaction appears in your Stripe dashboard in test mode.

Benefits of Accepting Google Pay

Offering Google Pay as a payment option can greatly benefit businesses both online and in store. It offers:

  • Universal compatibility: Google Pay works across Android and iOS devices, covering a wide customer base.
  • Effortless user experience: It streamlines the checkout process with a quick, intuitive, and secure payment method that users appreciate.
  • Improved transaction speed: Speeds up the payment process, leading to shorter lines and happier customers.
  • Strong security: Google Pay benefits from Google’s robust security measures, offering users peace of mind by safeguarding against fraudulent activities.
  • No transaction fees: Google doesn’t charge you additional fees for accepting Google Pay.
  • Enhanced customer trust: The trusted Google brand can reassure customers when making payments.

Drawbacks of Accepting Google Pay

When considering Google Pay for transactions, it’s wise to acknowledge some potential drawbacks:

  • Adoption barriers: Not all customers may be ready to embrace mobile payments, though adoption rates grew significantly between 2020 and 2023. It’s important to keep alternative payment methods available to accommodate everyone.
  • Hardware investments: Upgrading to new terminals for contactless payments can be an expense. Seek out cost-effective, multi-functional point-of-sale systems to mitigate this.
  • Connectivity dependency: A reliable internet connection is crucial for processing payments. Ensure a strong internet setup, along with a contingency plan for outages.
  • Learning curve: Both customers and employees may need time to get used to the new system. Offer comprehensive training for staff and clear guidance for customers to ease the transition.
  • Technical glitches: Interruptions in service can impact payment processing. Maintain alternative payment methods and regularly update your software to reduce potential downtime.
  • Device reliance: Customer’s device issues can hinder payment completion. Retain traditional payment options to ensure uninterrupted service.

With a clear understanding of how to implement Google Pay, you’re now poised to provide a payment option that’s quick, secure, and contactless. The path forward involves selecting a payment processor that fits your business requirements, equipping your point of sale with the appropriate card readers, and seamlessly incorporating Google Pay into your existing payment solutions.

By embracing Google Pay, your business is set to become a go-to choice for consumers who prioritize convenience and security.


How much does Google Pay cost?
Google doesn’t charge merchants additional fees for accepting Google Pay as a payment method. Standard transaction fees from your payment processor still apply, similar to other card transactions, but there’s no extra cost specifically for using Google Pay.
Is Google Pay secure?
Google Pay is designed with strong security features. It uses tokenization to replace card numbers with virtual account numbers during transactions, reducing the risk of fraud. Additionally, Google’s multi-layered security infrastructure constantly works to protect payment information.
What do I need to start accepting Google Pay at my business?
To accept Google Pay, ensure you have a contactless payment-enabled point-of-sale (POS) terminal. Partner with a payment processor that supports Google Pay, and follow their setup process, which typically involves linking your merchant account to the Google Pay service.
Written by:
Richard has more than 20 years of experience in business operations, computer science and full-stack development roles. A graduate in Computer Science and former IT support manager at Samsung, Richard has taught coding courses and developed software for both private businesses and state organisations. A prolific author in B2B and B2C tech, Richard’s work has been published on sites such as TechRadar Pro, ITProPortal and Tom’s Guide.