If you have an Android phone and have been wondering when you get your hands on the equivalent of Apple Pay, then wonder no longer.

Android Pay, which launched in the US last year, is available in the UK from today.

The technology allows you to pay for things simply and securely using your smartphone.

Once you’ve downloaded the Android Pay app from the Play Store and entered your credit or debit card details, you’ll be able to use your phone in the same way as a contactless card.

Contactless payment capability will be made available to the majority of our customers

Stephen Noakes, managing director, retail customer products, Lloyds Banking Group
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Android Pay will work everywhere that contactless payments are accepted – so that’s high street stores such as Boots, Waitrose and Starbucks, and on Transport for London’s tubes, buses and trains.

But before you get too excited, there are a couple of things you need to check to make sure you can use Android Pay.

Firstly, your phone needs to be running the Android 4.4 (KitKat) operating system or newer and be equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC).

You’ll need an eligible MasterCard or Visa credit or debit card from a supported banks if you want to use Android Pay. Image by Yuri Samsonov/Shutterstock.com

You can check these in your phone’s Settings menu, but if you've had a new phone in the last couple of years, you'll probably be ok.

Secondly, you’ll need to have an eligible MasterCard or Visa credit or debit card from one of the banks supporting Android Pay.

Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, HSBC, First Direct, M&S Bank, MBNA and Nationwide have already signed up.

NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland are notable absentees from that list, while Barclays will launch its own contactless payment service for customers with Android Phones next month.

Android itself says new banks are being added “all the time”. 

Stephen Noakes, managing director of retail customer products for Lloyds Banking Group, said: “We’re delighted to offer our customers access to Android Pay. 

“This means that contactless payment capability will be made available to the majority of our customers who want to use their smartphone or device to make payments.”

As well as being able to use Android Pay in stores, users will be able to speed up checkout in a number of apps including JD Sports, Deliveroo and YPlan. 

Users will also be offered a host of rewards and special offers by retailers as part of Android Pay Day, which aims to brighten up the week before pay day.