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Everything you need to know about Google Wallet

Cyberdime
Published: May 19, 2024

We’re working on making the Google Wallet API a more comprehensive, more convenient, and more approachable platform for offering digital valuables of all kinds to more users in more places.

We’re also focused on enabling you to do more with Google Wallet in conjunction with other Google products and services, because the Google experience is better when we work together to bring the magic of Google to you and your users.

Let’s take a look at all the new features and enhancements we announced at Google I/O this year in different areas, focused on security, wearables, push notifications, Auto Linked Passes, Generic Private Passes, Gmail integration, and developer experience.

Security

To provide your users more opportunities to leverage their digital credentials, Android is introducing an extension to the Android Credential Manager API to allow users to use digital credentials, such as government-issued digital IDs from Android wallet apps, including Google Wallet.

App developers will soon be able to securely verify users’ details from their digital credential by requesting attributes like a user’s age, legal name, legal address and so on, through the API. Since you’ll be able to limit your request to only the info needed for your use case, instead of users’ entire ID, privacy is built right in. When sharing ID data from the Google Wallet app, users will always review and need to authorize the action within the Google Wallet app before ID data is shared.

As the API is built on Android Credential Manager, any app that contains digital credentials compatible with the API can supply them through the API. Meaning as a developer, you can receive credentials from whichever app a user chooses to store them with only a single integration.

The API is currently in a closed alpha stage. If you’re looking to pilot and test, please indicate interest through this sign-up form. We’ll open up to more developers this year, and plan to get to general availability in 2025.

Wearables

If you’re using Wear OS wearables, using your passes stored in Google Wallet will now be easier than ever, with expanded support for passes on Wear OS devices.

This includes passes like loyalty cards, boarding passes, and more, which you’ll now be able to present using the Google Wallet app on your Wear OS devices.

Auto linked passes

Google Wallet is a great engagement channel to connect with your users in new and unique ways. And we’re bringing to you a novel way to engage with your users with Auto Linked Passes.

This new feature of the Google Wallet API allows you to add an additional related pass automatically to your users’ Google Wallet provided they already have an existing pass issued by you. For example, event providers can push additional parking passes, or vouchers for concessions. Merchants can push promotional offers, coupons or gift cards to their loyal customers to increase brand affinity and drive more in-person visits to their stores.

Push notifications

We’re also expanding mobile push notifications for the Google Wallet API. Now you have more ways to notify your users about changes in their passes, offers, or other news. And you benefit from increased engagement and a way to ensure your users have up to date information.

For example, when you send a new message to your users, they will receive a notification on their mobile devices. By tapping on the message, they’ll be directed to the back of their pass and will be able to read the message you sent them.

Generic private passes

Last year we announced generic private passes, adding support for passes containing sensitive data. Over the past twelve months, users were able to add hundreds of thousands of digital items containing sensitive data, such as insurance cards, safely on Google Wallet.

This year, we’re adding more features to give your users an even safer experience. The generic private passes API now supports add and delete callbacks, manual updates, and more.

Gmail integration

We’re constantly creating new ways for users to add digital assets to Google Wallet. Recently, we started surfacing boarding passes from Gmail in Google Wallet when users receive a confirmation email and have the relevant setting in GMail turned on.

And how can you make it possible for Google Wallet to do that?

You just need to add special markups defined in Microdata format to the email HTML. Google Wallet will parse this information to create the boarding pass for your user. For example, if you look at the Gmail developer documentation, you’ll be able to check the tags required for sending a boarding pass in the confirmation email.

Google Wallet also integrates with Google Flights to provide your users with up-to-date departure time, so that they will receive a reminder notification 3 hours before their flight.

This feature is super convenient, but integrating and issuing passes directly with the Google Wallet API gives you more control and full access to the increasing number of features we continue to add.

Developer Experience

We’re constantly working to make Google Wallet the place where your users can store everything they need, which means giving you the tools you need to build, and that means giving you tooling that supports your programming language of choice.


Client libraries

Client libraries for the Google Wallet API are now available on Github, and distributed through popular package distros like Maven, NPM, and more.

These client libraries are generated directly from the public protobuffers for the Google Wallet API, so you can feel confident they are accurate and up to date with the latest functionality.

We currently offer client libraries for Java, Python, PHP, .NET, JavaScript, Objective-C, Dart, Ruby, Node.js, and Go.


Flutter plugin

The official Google Wallet plugin is available on pub.dev, ready to help you add Google Wallet API functionality to your Flutter apps for Android.

We also provide a Button widget so you can easily place an “Add to Google Wallet” button to your app following the brand guidelines.

Framework integrations for Java

And in addition to expanded language support, we’re also releasing libraries to improve the integration experience for the popular Java application frameworks Spring and Quarkus.

With these new libraries, adding support for the Google Wallet API in your Spring or Quarkus app is just a matter of adding a dependency to your project, adding a few lines of configuration, and you’re ready to use it.

You can check these libraries once they’re released, and you’ll be able to learn more about it in the Google Wallet API developer documentation.

Console analytics

We know that you’re focused on providing the best possible experience to your users using Google Wallet. To do that, it’s very helpful to gain greater insight about them by understanding their Pass usage and behaviors.

For this reason, we’re making metrics and analytics available directly in the Google Pay & Wallet Console.

When you click on the Analytics button from the Class Management Tab of the console, you’ll see the metrics for the selected class graphed over time.

What’s Next

We’re always exploring new ways to make your experience developing with the Google Wallet API even better. Stay in touch with the latest updates by subscribing to our developer newsletter.

Source: developers.googleblog.com