According to a report earlier this month, it was revealed that if you plan on using third-party lockscreens, don’t expect that you will be able to use Android Pay as well. This is apparently due to security concerns, and given that Android Pay basically handles your money, we suppose it makes sense.
Now if you own a rooted handset, it looks like you’d be out of luck too as Android Pay won’t work on your devices, and if you’re wondering why, you’re in luck as Google security engineer jasondclinton_google posted on the XDA forums (via Phandroid) explaining as to why it won’t work.
According to the engineer, “Google is absolutely committed to keeping Android open and that means encouraging developer builds. While the platform can and should continue to thrive as a developer-friendly environment, there are a handful of applications (that are not part of the platform) where we have to ensure that the security model of Android is intact.”
He then goes on to explain that this “ensuring” process is done through the SafetyNet API, and basically what happens is that Android devices need to pass a compatibility test suite first before it allows Android Pay to work. He notes that this is different from how Google Wallet used to work in which Wallet had the ability to independently evaluate the risk of the transaction.
However with Android Pay being tied to different payment networks, banks, and credit unions, a lot of it is no longer in Google’s hands, thus the extra need for security. Will Google ever allow Android Pay to work on rooted devices? According to the engineer, he seems doubtful about it but he also states that is just his opinion, and who knows what might happen in the future.