It wasn't that long ago that Google Pay (and its previous names) was solely focused on making purchases in a store or paying on the spot to get onto subways...and sometimes sending money to friends. Google recently added support for one-time transit tickets on the Las Vegas Monorail and prepaid commuter cards with the TriMet in Portland, Oregon, but things are about to get a lot more interesting thanks to the latest update. We can expect to see support added for airport boarding passes and event tickets. There are several other big additions coming, too, so let's get straight into it.


Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. Even when predictions are correct, there is always a chance that plans could change or may be canceled entirely. Much like rumors, nothing is certain until it's officially announced and released.

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.

Boarding passes for flights

Traveling on buses and trains was just the beginning, Google Pay's next destination is our friendly skies. Based on new text and layouts in the latest update, it's safe to say we'll be able to save and use boarding passes for flights.

There's really no room for interpretation on this one, there are labels for the terminal and gate numbers, flight number, seats, boarding group, departure time, and so on. Everything you'd expect to find on a boarding pass is covered. While not mentioned in the strings, the layouts also provide space to display a barcode for scanning.

<string name="boarding_terminal_gate_title">Terminal / Gate</string>
<string name="boarding_time_title">Boarding</string>
<string name="boarding_pass_fragment_title_format">Details for your %1$s boarding pass</string>

<string name="boarding_pass_default_number_title">Boarding Pass #</string>
<string name="boarding_pass_flight_number_title">Flight #</string>
<string name="boarding_pass_default_boarding_group_label">Group</string>
<string name="boarding_seating_name_title">Passenger</string>

<string name="boarding_pass_seat_group_title_format">Seat / %1$s</string>
<string name="boarding_pass_seat_group_value_format">%1$s / %2$s</string>
<string name="boarding_pass_terminal_gate_format">%1$s / %2$s</string>
<string name="departure_time_title_default">Departure</string>
<string name="departure_time_title_flight">Departure</string>

New layouts:

Like many other electronic boarding passes, one big advantage over paper passes is that you'll be able to see your flight status.

<string name="flight_status_scheduled">Scheduled</string>
<string name="flight_status_on_time">On Time</string>
<string name="flight_status_delayed">Delayed</string>
<string name="flight_status_landed">Landed</string>
<string name="flight_status_cancelled">Canceled</string>
<string name="flight_status_diverted">Diverted</string>
<string name="flight_status_redirected">Redirected</string>
<string name="flight_status_in_distress">In Distress</string>
<string name="flight_status_not_operational">Not Operational</string>

Google is also adding a handy notification to show when you're likely to begin using a boarding pass stored in the Pay app. It will include instructions that let you know if you can tap your phone to an NFC terminal or if you'll have to rely on a barcode or other means to get through the doors.

<string name="notification_title_format_default_boarding_pass">%1$s boarding pass</string>
<string name="notification_message_nfc_boarding_pass_clo">%1$s available with %2$s boarding pass</string>
<string name="notification_message_nfc_showandscan_boarding_pass">Show %1$s boarding pass to cashier before paying</string>
<string name="notification_message_nfc_smarttap_boarding_pass">Use %1$s boarding pass by tapping phone to terminal</string>

So far, there aren't any references to compatible airports or airlines, so I'm not sure if this is a limited launch or not. It would be great if we could count on wide compatibility right from the start.

Event tickets

The story doesn't stop with getting on a plane, you'll also be able to stow event tickets in Google Pay. There are labels for section, row, and seat, so it's safe to say these tickets will work with most sports and concert stadiums. Also included in the details will be the date and time, a featured image, and a barcode to get in the door.

<string name="event_ticket_fragment_title_format">Details for your %1$s event ticket</string>
<string name="event_seating_section_title">Section</string>
<string name="event_seating_row_title">Row</string>
<string name="event_seating_seat_title">Seat</string>
<string name="event_date_day_title">Date</string>
<string name="event_date_time_title">Time</string>

New layouts:

Just like boarding passes, there will also be a notification to let you know if you can use NFC or let somebody scan your barcode.

<string name="notification_title_format_default_event_ticket">%1$s event ticket</string>
<string name="notification_message_nfc_event_ticket_clo">%1$s available with %2$s event ticket</string>
<string name="notification_message_nfc_showandscan_event_ticket">Show %1$s event ticket to cashier before paying</string>
<string name="notification_message_nfc_smarttap_event_ticket">Use %1$s event ticket by tapping phone to terminal</string>

Suica and WAON support (Japan)

Two additional prepaid contactless smart cards are going to gain support in Japan: Suica and WAON. The first, Suica, is a fare card for use with a number of train and bus lines in Japan. WAON is an all-around prepaid card that's accepted in many stores.

<string name="slowpoke_name">Suica</string>
<string name="slowpoke_company_name">Suica service</string>
<string name="slowpoke_payment_education_subtitle_enable_card">See your purchase history, add money to your card instantly, and manage your payment methods in one place.</string>
<string name="suica_ap_provisions_link_label">Special Provisions for Google Pay</string>
<string name="suica_tos_link_label">Terms and Conditions of Suica mobile</string>

<string name="waon_name">WAON</string>
<string name="waon_app_name">smart WAON</string>
<string name="waon_company_name">AEON MARKETING K. K.</string>
<string name="waon_tos_link_label">Terms and Conditions of Waon mobile</string>
<string name="waon_ap_provisions_link_label">Special Provisions for Google Pay</string>

I would say more about these cards, but I'm not familiar with them beyond what their Wikipedia entries say. However, I want to point out the string names for Suica, which include the name Slowpoke. This is the name of a Pokemon, and as readers might recall, it's not the first. Wartortle made an appearance just last month. Of course, as codenames go, we've also seen Husky and Terrier, two dog breeds, so there might be no rhyme or reason to the names that are being picked. Dunno, I'll leave it to somebody else to speculate about.

Follow-up: Transit Tickets (from v1.56)

There wasn't much to report on in v1.56, so it was destined to go into an Update Notes post (which was delayed due to tax season). However, we now have a very worthwhile update to Google Pay, we can also cover the smaller details from the previous version.

The Las Vegas Monorail and TriMet in Portland are both designed for casual seating. In other words, you just get in and sit wherever you like. But as new trains come online, especially those with a longer range or premium seating, there will eventually be a need for more options. The recent additions to the app now allow for different types of fares and mentions two different types of tickets, though the ticket names (i.e. Express and Green) are likely for a specific company.

There are also labels for seat number, the status of the ticket, departure and arrival times, and even if smoking is allowed.

<string name="fare_type_label">Fare type</string>
<string name="ticket_type_one_label">Express ticket</string>
<string name="ticket_type_two_label">Green ticket</string>
<string name="ticket_number_label">Ticket number</string>
<string name="ticket_not_used_label">Not used yet</string>
<string name="ticket_used_label">Used</string>

<string name="se_extra_card_status">Commuter pass</string>
<string name="se_trans_type_refund">Refund</string>
<string name="se_trans_type_reissuance">Reissuance</string>

<string name="train_car_label">Train car</string>
<string name="train_car_text">%1$s %2$s %3$s</string>

<string name="seat_number_label">Seat number</string>
<string name="seat_number_text">%1$s-%2$s</string>

<string name="non_smoking_label">Non-Smoking</string>
<string name="smoking_label">Smoking</string>

<string name="arrival_time_label">Arrival time</string>
<string name="departure_time_label">Departure time</string>
<string name="departure_date_label">Departure date</string>

<string name="station_name_title">%1$d: %2$s</string>
<string name="two_station_names">%1$s-%2$s</string>

<service android:name="" android:exported="true" android:permission="">
<action android:name="" />

<activity android:name="" android:launchMode="singleTop" android:parentActivityName="" android:theme="@style/Theme.GooglePay.Transparent" />

Follow-up: Automatic reload (from v1.56)

First spotted in the last notable update to Google Pay, there will be a feature that can automatically transfer funds to a prepaid card if the balance goes too low. There are now some new lines that are a little more illustrative of what we might see, including an in-app explanation for the low balance notifications, plus text that actually belongs to a card explaining that your balance is below the threshold.

<string name="lowbalance_title">Your %1$s card balance is below %2$s</string>
<string name="lowbalance_message">Add money to your %1$s card soon</string>

<string name="low_balance_notification_activity_title">Low balance notification</string>
<string name="low_balance_notification_description">Get a notification when your card goes below a set balance</string>
<string name="low_balance_notification_amount_label">When to send notification</string>
<string name="low_balance_notification_button">Save</string>
<string name="low_balance_notification_disable_button">Turn off low balance notification</string>

<activity android:name="" android:launchMode="singleTop" android:parentActivityName="" android:screenOrientation="portrait" android:theme="@style/Theme.GooglePay.NoActionBar" />

There are also a few new strings bearing the name "smart charge" that read like they probably belong to the same auto-reload feature, though it's possible they're connected to something else.

<string name="smartcharge_success_title">%1$s was loaded to your %2$s card</string>
<string name="smartcharge_success_message">Your %1$s card balance is now %2$s</string>

<string name="top_up_settings_disable_button_label">Turn off smart charge</string>

<string name="smartcharge_settings_error_title">Smart Charge Error</string>
<string name="smartcharge_settings_error_message">Fix smart charge settings</string>

Follow-up: Merging Google Pay Send

I'm not going to say much about this one since we all should know the story. In short, Google Pay Send (formerly Google Wallet) is going to be merged into Google Pay.

If you're interested in keeping tabs on the progress, you might like to know that the latest update appears to have integrated the ability to cancel payments or requests, return money to sender, and decline to pay money that has been requested. There are also some lines for setting up a group request and cash out or transfer money you have received.

<string name="confirm_cancel_payment_title">Cancel payment of %1$s?</string>
<string name="confirm_cancel_payment_button">Cancel payment</string>
<string name="confirm_cancel_outgoing_message">The recipient will be notified of your decision</string>
<string name="cancel_payment_success">Cancellation requested</string>

<string name="confirm_cancel_request_title">Cancel request for %1$s?</string>
<string name="confirm_cancel_request_button">Cancel request</string>
<string name="cancel_request_success">Request canceled</string>

<string name="confirm_decline_payment_title">Return %1$s?</string>
<string name="confirm_decline_payment_message">The sender will be notified and the money will be sent back to them</string>
<string name="confirm_decline_payment_button">Return money</string>
<string name="decline_payment_success">%1$s was returned</string>

<string name="confirm_decline_request_title">Decline to pay %1$s?</string>
<string name="confirm_decline_request_button">Decline</string>
<string name="confirm_decline_request_message">The sender will be notified of your decision</string>
<string name="decline_request_success">You declined payment</string>

<string name="claim_title">Transfer to:</string>
<string name="claim_money_confirmation">Transferring to %1$s</string>
<string name="transfer_button">Transfer</string>
<string name="payment_method_cta_cash_out">Cash out</string>
<string name="cash_out_button_text">Cash out</string>

New layout:

<string name="add_bank_account_primary_text">Bank account</string>
<string name="add_bank_account_secondary_text">Pay friends</string>

<string name="nav_drawer_p2p">Send and request money</string>
<string name="multi_contact_search_title">Group request</string>
<plurals name="enter_more_people_hint">
<item>Enter up to %d more people</item>
<item>Enter up to %d more person</item>
<string name="no_more_people_hint">You can\'t add anymore people</string>


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.

Google Pay
Google Pay
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free