If you follow Google news at all, then you probably know that the Mountain View firm held its I/O 2022 developer conference this week. One of the things that it introduced is an all new Google Wallet service, which is replacing Google Pay in over 40 countries, with more on the way. And there’s actually a lot of cool new stuff included.
Right now with the Google Pay API for passes, you can include offers, loyalty cards, gift cards, event tickets, boarding passes, transit tickets, and vaccine cards, but soon, you’ll be able to add your state driver’s license. But that’s not where it ends, because the question remains, what if your app has a type of pass that doesn’t fit in one of those categories?
The Generic Pass API
That’s where Generic Pass comes in. Developers will be able to add virtually anything with a QR code, a bar code, or text to Google Wallet. The main guideline is that whatever the app is adding, it shouldn’t fit in one of the above cateories. The company is partnering with AAA for membership cards as the first example of this.
Developers maintain control over how their Generic Passes look. They’ll be able to set a hero image, a QR code or bar code, and set up to three rows with up to three fields per row.
That’s not all though, because developers will be able to store passes in groups. The example that Google used is that if you’re going to a concert, you might have your tickets, a parking pass, and some food vouchers, so those will all be stored in one place.
Other possible examples of a Generic Pass include library cards, stored value vouchers, gym membership cards, auto insurance cards, reservatons, country border crossing QR codes, and customer pre-screening QR codes.
Google says that you’ll be able to share things in Wallet with other Google apps, as long as sharing is enabled. For example, you’ll be able to view information and your balance from a transit card, while you’re looking up transit directions on Google Maps. You’ll also be able to save passes from Google apps, such as Gmail and Photos.
Of course, security is key too. Any pass that’s considered sensitive won’t be shared, so your vaccine passes are safe. The Mountain View firm also noted that all payment information is encrypted, and Google Wallet supports things like authentication, find my phone, remote data wipe, and all of the security features that you’ve come to expect from Android.