Google Pay isn’t working for some Pixel 5 users

Google Pay isn’t working for some Pixel 5 users

Any major phone release is likely to come with at least one showstopping bug, and Google’s Pixel 5 is no exception. Reports have surfaced from some users claiming they’re unable to make contactless payments using Google Pay.

Some early-adopters of the Pixel 5 have started to complain on the Google Support Forums (via 9to5Google) that they have been unable to complete transactions from their new Pixel 5 handsets, and since then, 9to5Google captured this very issue on video (embedded below). (For what it’s worth, XDA’s Adam Conway has no issues with his own Pixel 5 review unit.) Despite all the usual troubleshooting steps — clearing the cache, setting up the card again, rebooting the phone — it seems that if you’ve fallen prey to this bug, your only option to rejoin the land of Google Pay-ing is to factory reset your device and hope it doesn’t happen again. But don’t.

We suspect it’s a problem limited to the Pixel 5, as the same set-up, with the same account and cards, doesn’t cause issues on the Pixel 4 or Pixel 4a. This rules out the bug as being Android 11 or even Pixel software-related. The phones in question pass SafetyNet Attestation’s CTS profile check — at least we know that 9to5Google’s unit does — so that’s likely not the cause of the issue, either.

Feedback on Google’s support forums suggests that, based on conversations with banks, the payments aren’t being refused — they’re just not being sent out by the handset in the first place. One theory is that the Pixel 5 is not restoring backed up data correctly when the user migrates, and if that’s the case, a Factory Reset is likely to beget many more factory resets. What we need is a proper fix.

Google has yet to officially acknowledge the issue, but once it does, we can’t see it being unfixable — it’s unlikely for it to be the hardware, which should mean that once it’s acknowledged, there’ll be a software update for the Pixel 5, the Google Pay app, Google Play Services, or all 3, and everything will be rosy again.

It’s no ‘bendgate’ or ‘aerialgate’, so perhaps we should just be glad that in the great scheme of things, Pixel 5’s traditional launch showstopper is relatively minor.

Google Pixel 5 Forums


Google Pay (old app)
Google Pay (old app)
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

About author

Chris Merriman
Chris Merriman

I am the UK News Editor at XDA Developers. I’ve been writing about technology for over a decade for the likes of The Inquirer, where I was Associate Editor, Computer Shopper UK, and IT Pro. I’ve also appeared on Sky News, BBC, Al Jazeera and recently left a long-running weekly tech news spot on TalkRadio UK. My love of technology comes from my family who hail from the pioneering days of Silicon Valley - in fact my Grandfather worked on Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. I’ve been using smartphones (and reading XDA) since the HTC Canary in 2003. I’m also a smart home obsessive. You can find me tweeting as @ChrisTheDJ or email me at [email protected]