Android Pay users sent virtual cracker offering Christmas gift

All users need to do is make a contactless payment between now and the end of the year

Updated: 

Users of Google's Android Pay mobile app are to receive virtual Christmas crackers that could contain prizes each time they make a payment with the service.

Google said users will receive a cracker when they make a contactless payment between now and the end of 2016, with 100,000 of them containing prizes including £10 Costa Coffee gift cards, Odeon cinema tickets, and £500 gift cards for House of Fraser and Currys PC World.

Android Pay launched in the UK in May as an alternative to Apple Pay, which works on the iPhone and Apple Watch.

As part of the scheme, which is called "shop. tap. reward", the crackers will appear when the app is used on the London transport network as well.

Google also announced the introduction of incomplete journey notifications on the app, which will warn users if they have forgotten to tap in or out after a trip.

The tech giant also confirmed an icon for Android Pay will now appear within the Uber car sharing service.

Google's Pali Bhat said the firm wants to make using Android Pay "even better" for consumers.

"Android Pay is becoming one of the UK's favourite ways to shop since its launch this past May," he said.

"Adoption of Android Pay is growing rapidly as people are tapping on the Tube, in stores, and in their favourite apps."

Google also said that each of the first five times a consumer uses Android Pay to make a contactless payment, they will receive a virtual coin. Once five coins have been collected, a £3 Costa Coffee voucher is earned.

Figures from the UK Cards Association revealed that earlier this year, the amount spent in a single month in the UK by contactless payments exceeded £2 billion for the first time.