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Singapore becomes the third country in the world to get Android Pay

Google's mobile payment makes its way to Asia, with the island state the first in the region to accept the service.

Aloysius Low/CNET

Singapore is quickly becoming a testbed for the mobile payments scene. With the recent announcements of Apple Pay and Samsung Pay's availability in the island state, Google's Android Pay makes its official debut here -- its third market after the UK and US.

The service is immediately available in Singapore, and can be used at any store that accepts contactless credit card payments. While small, the country is the perfect battleground between these three payment systems, thanks to a high penetration of mobile phones and robust telecom infrastructure, which boasts one of the fastest 4G LTE networks in the world.

Unlike its competitors, Google's Android Pay doesn't require fingerprint scans, though the phones need to have NFC and be running Android 4.4 KitKat and above. Making payments is as simple as tapping the phone to the contactless payment terminal. You don't even need to unlock the phone to do so -- as long as the screen is turned on, payments can be made.

While this raises some concerns about security, Google says every fourth transaction made will require a user to unlock the phone for verification. Like in the US and UK, Android Pay in Singapore also supports loyalty programs, and will allow users to earn points when making purchases.

Google is yet to announce any dates or availability for other countries in Asia. As for Australia, where Android Pay was supposed to launch in the "first half of 2016", Google says it's "coming soon."