New Google API will let retailers easily add loyalty programs, Android Pay to checkout process

Google Inc.’s recent announcement that it would finally be delivering Android Pay to Canadian customers arrived not a moment too soon.

In a May 18 blog post, Google vice-president of payment products Pali Bhat revealed that the company’s newly-announced Android Payment application program interface (API) would not only help retailers give customers the option of paying for purchases using their phones, but signing up for loyalty programs and specially targeted promotions too.

“Developers who adopt this API can enable an easy-to-use checkout experience for their customers,” Bhat wrote. “For users, the option to pay with Google means breezing through checkout without needing to remember and type multiple lines of payment details. You simply choose your preferred card, enter a security code or authenticate with their Android device, and check out.”

Announced yesterday at Google’s annual I/O (input/output) conference, the Google Payment API allows users to pay in-app or online with any verified credit or debit card saved to their Google account.

Paying through Google using the Wish app. Courtesy Google.

In addition to making it easier to implement mobile payment support, the Google Payment API includes a feature that makes it easier to for users to add loyalty programs to Android Pay. The example Bhat used was U.S. pharmaceutical giant Walgreens, whose customers can now link their Balance Rewards loyalty account with their phone number if they wish to receive loyalty points through Android Pay.

Walgreens has fully deployed program across more than 8000 U.S. stores, Bhat wrote.

Finally, Google also revealed the Card Linked Offers API, which turned Android Pay into another channel for targeted offers, with bakery-café fast casual chain Panera Bread one of its early adopters.

“MyPanera members who save their loyalty card to Android Pay can discover offers and learn about new menu items, surfaced by Android Pay when they are at the store,” Bhat wrote. “The offer is redeemed when you use your MyPanera account at checkout.”

Card linked offers for Panera Bread in the Android Pay app. Courtesy Google.

Bhat also mentioned that Google was collaborating with payments platform developer Clover Network Inc. to bring its smart tap technology to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), though few details were given, including whether Clover’s support services will extend to Canada.

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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