Google Launches Loyalty API

Google announced late last week that Android Pay is now in 10 markets with more coming soon. In a blog post, the company said that in addition to partnerships with Visa and Mastercard, it’s gearing up to improve the mobile checkout for PayPal users.

Among its payment efforts, Google said last week it launched Google Payment API, which lets people make payment in app or online with any credit or debit card saved in their Google Account via Google Play, Chrome and YouTube. With the service users can get through checkout without having to remember payment information. Users choose their preferred credit card, enter a security code with the Android device and make the purchase. Google said in a blog post that developers that use the API can enable easy checkout for their customers.

The internet giant also said that in the next few months people in the U.S. will be able to send or receive payments through the Google Assistant, its voice-activated personal assistant. Users can tell Google Assistant on their Google Home device or Android phone to send a person money, and it will do all the work. All users need is a debit card linked to their Google account.

On top of all that, the company announced a new way for merchants to reward customers. Dubbed Card Linked, the API enhances customer loyalty by providing a new way to deliver targeted offers, said Google, pointing to Panera Bread as one of the first merchants to roll it out on a nationwide level. MyPanera members who save their loyalty card on Android Pay will get offers and get updates about new menu items. The offers are redeemed when customers use their MyPanera account at checkout. Google is also making it easier for Android Pay users to add other loyalty programs to the payment service. The company said as an example Walgreen Balance Rewards members who input their loyalty account with a phone number and use Android Pay will get notifications on their phones to link the loyalty card for future purchases at the drugstore chain. Walgreen has deployed Google’s smart tap technology in its more than 8,000 stores in the U.S., Google noted. The company said its working with First Data’s Clover to expand the smart tap technology to all sorts of business. With the integration of smart tap in Clover’s API, developers can build Android apps for loyalty, coupons and gift card redemption, and features like ordering ahead.