Google has been aggressively promoting its payment application Android Pay, the successor of Google Wallet (now reduced to a peer-to-peer payments app) and rival of Apple Pay.
6 weeks after its US launch, Google’s SVP of ads and commerce, Sridhar Ramaswamy, announced at the Money20/20 event in Las Vegas, that Android Pay will now offer loyalty reward points to its customers in order to retain them and encourage them for repeat usage.
The feature will start from coca-cola vending machines where users can get loyalty points by tapping their smartphone to the payment point to purchase coca-cola and can get free coke later after the accumulation of pre-requisite points. There are about 20000 NFC vending machines all over the US and it is the first big step towards making customers use Android Pay.
Although there has not been an official confirmation by Google for the feature but coming from a prominent person at a big event, we may not have to wait too long for this feature. Android Pay was launched in early September and there are no official numbers disclosed by the company about its adoption, but Ramaswamy said that the number was in the “Millions”.
It is noteworthy that Apple too had launched a similar loyalty program for Apple Pay in WWDC this year. It has tied up with brands and retailers such as JC Penney, Kohls, Walgreens, and Dunkin’ Donuts. With Android Pay being pitched as a rival to Apple Pay, it was about time that Android Pay came up with a similar feature.
And going by the intense rivalry between companies to grab the mobile payment market, it might just be the beginning of many promotional offers and marketing campaigns to lure customers to use these services.