Google Pay begins operating in Israel
Google Pay had initially planned to launch in Israel last summer but eventually postponed the start of operations. The entry of Google Pay into the Israeli market is expected to have a huge effect on the digital wallet market in Israel such as Bank Hapoalim's Bit and Bank Leumi's Pepper.
The reason for Google Pay's anticipated major impact is that it works on the Android operating system of the mobile devices held by more than 70% of Israelis. iPhone users can only use the Apple Pay digital wallet. Even though less than 30% of Israelis own iPhones, the entry of Apple Pay saw use of digital wallets in Israel soar by 800%. It now remains to be seen whether Google Pay creates the same effect for Android users.
Payment via Google Pay is available for credit cards issued by Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank, First International Bank of Israel, Bank Yahav, Isracard, CAL Israel Credit Cards, and Max.
On security, Google states that the actual number of the credit or debit card is not kept on the mobile device or transferred to any business. Transactions are by means of a virtual credit card number called a token, which is specific to each device, and the token is linked to a dynamic security code that changes with each transaction.
If the smartphone is lost or stolen, the owner can use the "Find my device" function to lock the device immediately, to secure with a new password, or even wipe personal details from it. There is no need to cancel the credit card itself, as the details are not stored on the device.