While it is debatable as to how useful mobile payments are right now, it is clear that this is a platform that is here to stay. The likes of Samsung, Apple and Android Pay are all pushing the platform forward and in spite of Samsung Pay effectively leading the compatibility war (due to its ability to make use of MST) Android Pay is growing at a slow but steady rate, with further expansion to new countries in the process and companies making the transition to Android Pay.
Speaking of the future of Android Pay, a recent teardown of the latest version of the Android Play app by Android Police is revealing some of the additional features that will likely be available to Android Pay users in the near future. The big aspect feature that is likely to take effect is that Android Pay users will be able to use loyalty cards and gift cards without having to unlock their devices. On the face of it, this will likely prove to be a useful feature in speeding up the process of paying for goods in stores which you have a loyalty card or gift card with. Not having to unlock the phone to use these cards will allow the customer to quickly make sure their loyalty membership (or gift card value) is included at the start of the transaction.
As you might expect, this feature is unlikely to be one which makes its way to actually paying for goods using a credit or debit card and that is an aspect which will continue to require the user to unlock the device and for obvious reasons, security. As loyalty and gift cards are likely to be considered much less of a security risk than credit or debit cards, it stands to reason that the less risk options can be used with a less secure method - like using without unlocking. Although some of the code picked up in the teardown does allude to this being a feature that will work with some loyalty and gift cards, with the assumption being, not all of them. Either way, while the feature is not live yet, an APK of the latest version (1,3) of the Android Pay app is now available to download. Head through the link below to grab the APK.