Tips & Tricks

How to Use Android Pay on a Device with Root

Android Pay debuted in the United States. It is a matter of time that, sooner or later, the service will be seen in other countries and with the months we will end up having it with us. As always when a service with so much impact comes out, many questions arise and one of them we solve it today. Users who have root on their Android smartphone are a relatively large community. They are not a majority but they are enough to be taken into account. The payment is something delicate and for that reason always, first, there is a refusal to use these services with a mobile phone with too many permissions. Scepticism but also solutions, although at the moment nothing official.

The situation with Android Pay today is the same as with Google Wallet: if you have root, you will not be able to pay with this service. Over time Google was flexible and removed this restriction. Probably over time, this situation will change too but the current scenario is the one we just told you about.

Using Android Pay with Root

This prohibition, of course, is not perfect and several users have given methods to make Android Pay believe that our mobile is not rooted and therefore authorize it to make the payment. Quiet, we will not teach you how to cheat the platform with malicious purposes if not simply to continue using it (when it arrives) without having to worry about having root or not.

Google Wallet had similar restrictions for rooted Android devices, but then Google silently removed the restriction and made Google Wallet work alongside with root access on a device. This may happen to Android Pay as well. At some point in future when Google figures out a way to secure Android Pay from root access, and become really sure about it, it may lift the root restriction for the app.

So Android Pay doesn’t officially support root access, but that doesn’t mean there’s no workaround. There are a few methods to get Android Pay work with Root.

Method 1: Systemless root workaround for Android Pay

Follow the instructions below to get Android Pay to work with Systemless root, thanks to jgummeson for the tip:

  1. Format/Factory reset your device to stock firmware with no custom modifications.
  2. Root your device with systemless SuperSU.
  3. Enable USB debugging on your device:
    1. Go to Settings » About tablet » and tap Build number 7 times to enable Developer options.
    2. Go back to Settings » select Developer options » enable USB debugging.
  4. Setup ADB and Fastboot on your PC.
  5. Connect your device to PC.
    └ If a prompt appears on your device screen asking to allow USB debugging, select “Ok”.
  6. Open a command window on the PC and issue the following command:
    adb shell
    chmod 751 /su/bin
  7. That’s it. Android Pay should now be working with systemless root on your device.

What we did in the systemless root method above is turn off the SafetyNet checks detecting systemless root on the device. Hope it works for you. If not, try the other methods given below as well.

Method 2: Disable Root from SuperSU

As suggested by Turd Fergussen in comments, just disabling root from SuperSU also works:

  1. Open the SuperSU app on your device.
  2. Tap the Settings tab.
  3. Untick the “Enable Superuser” option.
  4. Open Android Pay and set up your cards.
  5. Go back to SuperSU app and tick the “Enable Superuser” option.

That’s it. You should be able to make payments now.

Method 3: Use RootCloak Xposed Module

You could use an Xposed module called RootCloak which cloaks your device’ root status, so you can cloak the Google Play Services app (which Android Pay uses) and hide the fact that your device is rooted. Below is a quick guide for the hack:

  1. Install the Xposed Framework on your device.
  2. Install RootCloak Xposed Module and enable it in the Xposed installer app.
  3. Open RootCloak app from your launcher.
  4. Now as a first-time user of the app, open menu (tap 3 dot icon) and select the “Reset to Default Apps” option.
  5. Now if Google Play Services isn’t already in the list of default apps, add it using the + button.
  6. Either reboot your device or Force Close the Google Play Services app.
  7. Open the Android Pay app, it should now work on your rooted device.

Note: If you’re getting force closes while adding your credit or debit cards, you may have to toggle it On/Off repeatedly until you’ve added all of your cards. And finally leaving it On.

Note 2: You may want to use the latest Google Play Services app that released earlier today if things don’t work well.

Alternative Method (untested): Install “No Device Check” Xposed module.

Google introduced a new SafetyNet API recently, which helps app developers check if your device is rooted or modified by returning a “false” status so that their apps can adjust features accordingly.

The “No Device Check” Xposed module changes this behaviour and always returns “true” status for your device’ compatibility so that apps think your device isn’t rooted or modified in any way, and thus enable all of its features for you.

 Download “No Device Check” Xposed Module

This may also help us to use Android Pay on a rooted device. Give it a go and let us know if it fares well in the comments section below.

have fun Androiding!

About the author

Huda Zaidi

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