A new Google Pay feature might just make booking hotels and airline tickets more of a one-step affair. According to media reports, the Android-based payment app is testing a new update that will give users automatic access to frequent flyer accounts, hotel loyalty memberships and even some retail store reward cards linked through Google accounts.
For some Google Pay users, providing both a form of payment and rewards program membership details at the checkout (virtual or otherwise) could soon be a thing of the past. The payment app will now use Google accounts credentials (including Gmail) to allow Google Pay to access consumers’ frequent flyer information, hotel loyalty credentials and retail outlet reward cards.
“Thanks to a small update, Google Pay should now be able to link to Gmail and pull in things like airline miles, retail reward points, and hotel benefits that show up in your inbox from time to time,” Mashable technology analyst Alex Perry, who first identified the new feature, wrote this week. “This seems like something of a no-brainer for Google Pay, and could lead to people getting rewards and discounts they may not have utilized otherwise.”
According to the report, some Google Pay users have already noticed access to American Airlines Advantage accounts, United Airlines MileagePlus memberships and the Choice Privileges loyalty program in their virtual wallets. In some cases, Gmail users now also have their J.C. Penney and Best Buy store rewards card numbers automatically applied when using Google Pay.
For some time now, Google has used information gleaned through Gmail accounts to give passengers access to information about their upcoming flights, hotel stays and frequent flyer status when using the search engine. Now, it appears that Google Pay will take the next step and allow some customers to seamlessly use those loyalty accounts at the time of purchase.
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