If the presentations at Google I/O last month were any indication, Android Pay is growing quite quickly. Several new features were announced, but most were still only demos, not available to the public. A fresh update to the Android Pay app came out yesterday and a teardown reveals a few of those key features are either ready to launch or getting closer. There's also work being done on a map that will show merchants in close proximity that accept Android Pay, and a shortcut already showing up that will direct users to apps with Android Pay integration. Read More
There are a handful of incentives for using a smartphone to pay for things in the checkout lane. Most of the companies are trying to pitch increased security and arguably faster checkout experience, the big selling point for most people is the option to leave membership and loyalty cards at home. The latest update to Samsung Pay added full support for membership cards and also introduces a new area for promotions and other information. On top of that, 38 new banks and credit unions are now supported by Samsung Pay.
The two new features come as part of an update to version 2.0, which is immediately available to all supported devices. Read More
The idea of contactless payments has turned out to be an unusually divisive topic. Some people are certain that we're only a couple of years away from abandoning physical credit cards in favor of using smartphones at the checkout line, while others see it as an obnoxious novelty that slows down everything and should be ignored. Whatever the case, it's interesting to watch the progress of mobile payment methods as they grow and evolve in an effort to capture consumer interest. The latest update to Android Pay v1.3 doesn't appear to bring any immediately available new features, but a teardown reveals that we will soon have the option to use certain types of cards without unlocking our phones. Read More
Android Pay has been kicking around for a little while and it's time for an update. Version 1.1 just started rolling out and it seems to be focused on fixing bugs. There are a lot of little adjustments to text, but no major new features to be seen. Nevertheless, if you use Android Pay regularly, or if you've had issues in the past, you'll probably want to grab the update. As usual, we've got the download link below. Read More
Last week Google released a sizeable update to Google Wallet that finally let you carry loyalty cards in digital form. Now Amazon has released its own version of... pretty much the same thing, minus all the other stuff that Google Wallet does. Amazon Wallet is currently in beta on both the Google Play Store and Amazon's own Appstore in a rare simultaneous release. Compatibility seems to be limited to phones at the moment, and since it's labeled as "for Fire Phone" on this promo page, it may be pre-loaded on that device.
The app does pretty much the same thing that a lot of other apps do: scans the barcode on the back of retail loyalty cards and gift cards (at least the ones without a magnetic strip) and saves serial and pin numbers with a quick photo. Read More
Heads up, Google Wallet fans: better support for loyalty cards is coming to a Play Store update near you. According to a Google+ update from the Wallet team earlier today, the app will soon be able to auto-populate information when scanning in loyalty cards, presumably including the name and merchant. The update should be coming later this week, at least for the first batch of users. There are also some user interface changes, including a modified slide-out menu.
For those brick-and-mortar stores that also support Google Wallet's deals and offers, the Wallet app will also alert you when you're physically near the store in question. Read More
Since its inception, things have been tough for Google Wallet. Adoption hasn't been great, many carriers have blocked its use, and the rollout of new features hasn't gone as smoothly as one would hope. In short, it's been a long, hard road for such an initially promising product.
While we've already seen Google cut support for the prepaid Wallet card, the company has now decided to ax NFC redemption of gift and loyalty cards as of August 21st. If you currently have available funds on a gift card that's attached to your Wallet account (and you no longer have the physical card), it's time to spend it, lest it be lost forever. Read More