Google’s payment app Google Pay has launched across Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, and Romania.

The service will support Mastercard cards issued by several issuers and fintechs.

These will include but will not be limited to Banca Transilvania, Bunq, CEC Bank, Curve, LHV Pank, Monese, N26, Paynetics, Revolut, Swedbank, Unicredit Bank Romania, as well as Viva Wallet.

Users with Android devices can add their Mastercard to Google Pay by choosing the ‘Add to Google Pay’ button within the participating mobile banking apps.

The users can then tap and pay with their phone anywhere contactless payments are accepted, without requiring to open Google Pay or the mobile banking app and also without an internet connection.

Google Pay also addresses security concerns through tokenisation technology,  which replaces account numbers with a unique alternate card number or token.

The roll-out comes amid a surge of around 80% in contactless transactions across Europe since the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, noted Mastercard.

Mastercard executive vice president of Product and Innovation, Europe Milan Gauder said: “With hygiene becoming a high priority for many people, we want to make sure that we continue to deliver innovative solutions for touch-free payments. Today’s rollout empowers customers to pick the most convenient and safest method of payment that fits their need at any particular moment.

“To that end we are delighted to join forces with Google to provide the people we serve some ease, speed and peace of mind.”

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) – India’s antitrust body – has reportedly ordered an investigation into Google Pay.

It is being alleged that the company is misusing its market position to promote its payments app.