The Android Pay team has been going strong with the expansion into new countries and forging partnerships with even more banks, but that doesn't mean the app hasn't been given at least a little bit of attention along the way. The latest version doesn't appear to have any changes on the surface, but a teardown does turn up the signs of one interesting new addition. It looks like Android Pay will begin offering to add membership cards to your account if they are used in an Android Pay transaction. We're still looking for other changes in the app, especially at the terminal, so let us know in the comments if anything interesting turns up.
The features discussed below 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.
Quick add for membership cards
If you haven't gone through the tedious process of manually adding every one of your membership cards into Android Pay, I can't say I blame you. It's not fun. In fact, you may even be carrying your membership cards around with you despite using Android Pay to complete a transaction. As it turns out, the app might offer to get those membership cards loaded into your account a little more easily the next time you hit the checkout counter.
New text in the app suggests that Android Pay will pop up a notification if it detects a membership card was used during a transaction, at which point users have the option to instantly add it to their accounts.
<string name="pending_valuable_discoverable_title">Quick add</string>
<string name="pending_valuable_discoverable_body">Card from last purchase
Member #: %1$s</string>
<string name="pending_valuable_notification_title">Link your %1$s card</string>
<string name="pending_valuable_notification_body">Instantly add the card you just used</string>
<string name="pending_valuable_notification_add_now">Link Now</string>
<string name="pending_valuable_notification_opt_out">Turn Off Notifications</string>
These lines aren't specific, but I would expect that this feature relies on the in-store terminal to relay the membership information to Android Pay after the transaction is complete, and that may not be supported by all stores. I think it should go without saying that the notifications won't appear if you use the physical card that's already on your account
There's really not much more to say about this one, it's really just another way to add cards that might save some users from adding a handful of cards that they normally carry with them. At least it will be a time saver and might encourage people to save a little bit of time at the checkout lane by transmitting both the payment and membership info in a single tap.
New featured partner stores
Android Pay features many of the branded stores it works with, and judging by a few new strings, that list just got a little bigger. The names of four fairly well-known clothing brands were just added to the apk, including: Athleta, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Gap.
<string name="gap_banana_republic_athleta_old_navy">Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, Old Navy</string>
<string name="store_name_banana_republic">Banana Republic</string>
<string name="store_name_old_navy">Old Navy</string>
Only the first string in that list is actually in use yet, and it's for a page that isn't visible (at least not to me). Even so, it's just a list of stores where Android Pay is accepted. I can't help but wonder if these may be launch partners for the Visual ID (formerly Hands Free) system that turned up in a teardown last month, but there's nothing to suggest there's any link aside from the timing.
I wouldn't normally bring up something like this, but Android Pay rarely includes consumer brand names in the apk, which makes me wonder if there's something more happening. But without any more to go on, it's just a curiosity for now.
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