As we get ready to wear out our credit cards buying gifts for family, friends, coworkers, and probably ourselves, it's a good time to talk about Google Pay and what's in store for it in the future. Unfortunately, we won't be building on the holiday shopping theme with any of the teardown topics, but at least there are a couple of cool features that might get us feeling a little more festive about spending our hard-earned cash with our phones.

Teardown

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 wrong or inaccurate. Even when predictions are correct, there is always a chance that products could change or may be canceled. 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. All screenshots and images are real unless otherwise stated, and images are only altered to remove personal information.

Nicknaming payment methods

I want to say this is the most overdue feature ever. After years of just having to rely on just a card type and the last four digits of the number, we're going to finally get the option to nickname our payment methods with meaningful titles. Of course, this carries considerably less weight since Google Pay is pretty good about calling up the appropriate card artwork. Nevertheless, there will still be good opportunities to name your cards based on which is best at a certain type of store or create some other type of useful reminder.

<string name="nickname_edit_box_hint">Nickname</string>
<string name="nickname_edit_box_title">Set a nickname for this payment method</string>
<string name="nickname_has_digit_error">Nickname can\'t include numbers</string>

While there's not much text here, and nicknaming a card certainly doesn't require much, there is one strange implementation revealed here and it's worth bringing that  up: digits aren't allowed. Yeah, evidently, you're not allowed to type in numbers. I suppose this might be about preventing trickery, like adding a card and changing the nickname on it to match the conventional naming formula, but substituting in different numbers. Still, I'd like to be able to add proper numbers to the title.

Group pay

It wasn't enough to cover by itself when the first signs appeared in v2.76, but with the addition of nicknames, it seemed appropriate to get into the topic of group pay. There's barely any text here to explain the details, so I'll leave this up to speculation.

<string name="multiple_groups_subtitle">%1$s and %2$s more</string>

<activity android:name="com.google.commerce.tapandpay.android.growth.p2p.CreateGroupPaymentActivity" android:exported="false" android:theme="@style/Theme.GooglePay.NoActionBar" />

The v2.76 update added a single line referencing groups and an activity with a name that removes any doubt that group pay is coming. More notably, there was also text for a URL field added in the v2.78 update. This gives a little more context about what to expect, but still leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

<string name="group_payment_url_label">Group payment URL:</string>

My first thought was that this would be used for bringing multiple people together to pay a single bill. This is certainly still a possibility, but it has been pointed out that such a feature is already supported to an extent with a Split Transaction button on some purchases (pictured below). The Split Transaction button doesn't seem to appear on anything that's not an in-person purchase.

I'm not leaning in the direction that this is still a feature that may be intended to get people together ahead of a purchase, or perhaps for taking small donations or contributions, let's say collecting whatever people can put together for ordering pizzas. On the other hand, with the limited amount of information, the possibilities are still pretty open.

Note: This section was updated from its original version to fully reflect the split transaction feature. — Thanks, Nick Cipriani.

Download

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