When Android Pay was officially announced a few months back, everyone was somewhat-not-really excited (as it didn’t do much more than Google Wallet did). The story goes as this – Google Wallet would allow you to send money between people, as well as make in-store payments with NFC. The problem? The world wasn’t quite ready for it. When Android Pay was announced, the world was now ready because of the recent Apple Pay announcement. Now stores would be more inclined to add the option to use NFC payments as a purchase method. What happened to Google Wallet? It simply is now a way to send money between people, and if you have a Google Wallet card, purchases show up in your Google Wallet.

However, among all the confusion, there was a clear problem – not everyone’s credit card was supported. At this point, many people gave up hope of being able to use Android Pay until their bank was supported. What many may not realize, however, is that there is an easy workaround for using Android Pay without switching banks! All you need is a Google Wallet Card.

A Google Wallet card is simply a free debit card with Google branding that ties into your Google Wallet account rather than your bank account like a debit card from your bank would. Using a Google Wallet Card is quite simple as well – order a free Google Wallet Card, once it arrives link it to your bank account or debit/credit card (there are fees for tying it to a existing debit/credit card), and transfer money within the Google Wallet app from your bank account, and you’re good to go.

You can then enter your Wallet Card number into Android Pay – this will add it as a debit card, and every purchase you make via Android Pay will deduct from your Wallet Balance. You’ll have to make sure to keep adding to your Wallet balance, or set up a recurring transfer to be certain that you don’t run out of funds. The end result, though, is functioning NFC-based payments even without the explicit support of your chosen banking institution.

So to summarise:

  1. Order a Google Wallet Card
  2. Add your bank and transfer funds into Google Wallet
  3. Add your Google Wallet Card into Android Pay
  4. Tap and Pay.