In the last few months, Android Pay has been popping up quite a bit with expansions into new territories, support for more banks and credit unions, and of course, new features. The latest update began rolling out this morning and looks basically unchanged, but a teardown shows that Google is preparing to give users a reason to poke around in the app more often. Loyalty programs are about to get a fairly significant upgrade that will allow them to feature special offers to members.
The features discussed here are probably not live yet, or may only be live for a small percentage of users. Unless stated otherwise, don't expect to see these features if you install the apk.
New code in the Android Pay apk introduces "linked offers" and will be used to feature promotional deals and coupons through the loyalty programs saved in your account. At this time, the text and layouts are fairly sparse, but it looks like the interface may not actually demand that much to begin with. This could also be just the beginning and there's still more work to be done.
In either case, the material here will be used in a screen that lists special offers and coupons for the membership cards saved in your wallet. Each item in the list will include an image provided for the offer (possibly just an image of the card or store), a title, and a subtitle. To the right of each offer will be a plus (+) symbol that will add the offer to your collection. Presumably, once it's attached to your account, you'll be able to use it automatically the next time your account is accessed.
<string name="add_linked_offer_image">Plus symbol button for saving a loyalty card linked offer</string>
<string name="linked_offer_image">Card linked offer image preview</string>
<string name="view_all_linked_offers">View all</string>
<string name="linked_offers_list_title">%1$s Offers</string>
<string name="saved_linked_offers_count">%1$s Saved offers</string>
<string name="saved_linked_offers_value">%1$s in savings</string>
<string name="saved_offers_shopping_tag_image">Shopping tag icon image on saved loyalty card linked offers</string>
<string name="view_saved_offers_chevron_image">Right arrow button image to proceed to viewing saved loyalty card linked offers</string>
<activity android:name="com.google.commerce.tapandpay.android.valuable.verticals.loyaltycard.LinkedOffersListActivity" android:theme="@style/Theme.AppCompat.Light.NoActionBar" />
Programs like this are fairly common with some merchants, and in the case of American Express, extremely popular among deal hunters. Since there's very little effort involved in skimming the list for things that look interesting, even if you never use some offers, there's nothing but benefit for users. On top of that, some retailers may be eager to test the waters with serving coupons through Android Pay, which might result in some unusually good deals.
At this time, it looks like there are probably still some missing UI elements and I see no sign that linked offers are available in any of my loyalty programs, but it's possible they've already launched and there are only offers available from a small number of merchants. If you've got a couple free minutes, it might be worth taking a look. Otherwise, we'll definitely post about it when this goes live.
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.