Google Pay v2.78 prepares group pay and nicknames for payment methods [APK Teardown]

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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, but I’m hoping that this will be a feature where multiple people can come together to pay their own portion toward a single bill. The obvious example for something like that would be in a restaurant where each person owes part of a check. However, I think it would be more valuable to think of it in the terms of getting people together to share the cost of a boat rental, a group event, or some other pricy expenditure where several people should be kicking in their fair share.

<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 merely 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 shareable URL field added in the v2.78 update. This gives some context about what to expect and possibly how the process works. Right now I’m guessing that the main payer will share the link, then the other payers will use the link to establish the group pay session, then pick an amount and finish up the workflow. What’s not clear is whether the group payment has to begin before a payment is made or if that can wait until after the whole purchase is done.

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

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.

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