Google Pay with locked phone


I love using google pay, and believed it to be more secure than a card as I have to authenticate with either an unlock code, or fingerprint on my phone to make a purchase. It is automatic for me to just unlock with a fingerprint. I have now discovered that fingerprint unlock is unnecessary and you just need to turn the phone on to make a contactless mobile payment. I assume this is then limited to £30 as per a contactless card. Can anyone confirm ?


Also - is it possible to disable the ‘un-authenticated’ payment, i.e. insist on Fingerprint or passcode unlock before making a purchase. A card always sits in my pocket, but my phone is sometimes available on the table/desk. I’m tempted to disable the google pay completely now that I realise the phone is not as secure as I first thought. Not sure if this is controlled by google pay or starling.


Yes, it varies by country but in the UK you can make a payment of up to £30 without unlocking your phone. This is down to Google Pay.


I keep NFC turned off, then turn it on if I need to use Google Pay, not an ideal solution but at least it ensures I have to unlock my phone to use Google Pay


I dont think that’s the case anymore. On my old phone I could pay with just the screen on but now I need to unlock the phone.

I’m not sure who sets how strict this is though. Is it the bank or the phone manufacturer? Maybe the version of Android?


It must be the manufacturer as I’ve used all versions and never had to unlock the phone unless trying to spend over £30. Screen on is sufficient.

I’ve been using my Android watch mainly though since January. I like how it works. When you first put the watch on you have to unlock it to use Google Pay. It will then continue to operate until the heart monitor senses you’ve removed the watch. It then won’t work again until you unlock it


My Indian friend can slow their heart rate when meditating, and it confuses their watch and makes it lock :wink:


I have a huewei phone, maybe it’s them. It is very strict, even if the phone is unlocked it will ask for my fingerprint again. I have to unlock it just before I put it on the card reader, it’s that strict.


I’ve only got experience of Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi and Motorola. My watch is Huawei but that works as described above.

I very nearly bought the Huawei Mate 10 Pro but went for the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 in the end as I saw too many reports of Huawei not working with Android Auto. Google and Huawei acknowledged the incompatibility ages ago but as of a couple of months ago neither had a fix. I use Android Auto every time I’m in the car as I travel extensively for work and using Google maps to navigate to “customer name” is far better than the traditional postcode destination followed by driving around until you finally find the company. The traffic based rerouting of Google maps is also far better than the VW sat nav in the car.


The main reason I bought the Huawei mate 9 was the massive battery. It is a really good phone though so will probably get another. Cheaper than a Samsung and iPhone as well but I don’t expect that to last if they become more popular.


I’m on a Huawei P10 plus but have always unlocked the device prior to using Google pay, I’ll try without unlocking it and report back here.


I always unlock my Pixel 2 XL but only because it’s actually easier to touch the fingerprint reader than it is to press the power button. I know you don’t have to unlock it though.


Same here @danmullen the fingerprint sensor on my device is pretty rapid so it doesn’t really cause any bother at all, so much so that I hadn’t even tried leaving the device locked.


On my phone, i can toggle nfc on and off from the lock screen by swiping down so no real benefit.


Same here, I had always unlocked with the fingerprint sensor until I read a google article suggesting unlocking wasnt required for small amounts so I gave it a go. I would prefer to disable the ability to pay without unlocking. Although it apoears to be a Google implentation i would have thought the bank could reject non authenticated payments as they do by card sometimes. Would be great if starling could offer a toggle in the card security settings for paranoid people like me.


I think the rationale is that your phone is effectively your contactless card - they did away with needing to enter a PIN for card payments up to £30 and the Google Pay implementation mimics that. It’s no different to someone getting hold of your bank card.


I like that you don’t need to unlock it. That’s the single biggest reason why I stayed with Google pay. You don’t have extra steps with your contactless card so it’s no different really.

I tried Samsung Pay when Starling announced it but the fingerprint scanner is stupidly placed on the s8+ and I don’t want to gaze into my phone whilst standing at the till for the iris scanner. I’d look worse than rude! Imagine if you were working a till and you said, “That’ll be seven pound sixty please.” and the customer just took out their phone, held it up between you and them and stared at it! :joy: :joy: :joy:

Just a flick of the power or home button and a press. That’s how I like it. :sunglasses::sunglasses:


I wish it was that nice for me. I got this message today after it failing to work. Probably going to stop using it now as it’s just too much hassle, at least my card works every time.