The wait for Android Pay to arrive in Canada may finally be at an end.
An APK teardown conducted by Android Police of the latest version of the Android Pay, v 1.22, reveals that Google has added three new currency codes related to countries where the app is currently unavailable: the Brazillian real, the Trinidad and Tobago dollar and the Canadian dollar.
Now, before anyone gets too excited about this news, it’s important to keep several points in mind.
First, an APK teardown is not a confirmation of the company’s plans. Second, Google hasn’t officially confirmed Android Pay is coming to any of the three countries listed above. Third, an earlier Android Pay APK teardown conducted by Android Police late last year already included evidence that Google planned to bring its mobile payments platform to Canada.
Lastly, the new currency codes aren’t there for the average users; instead, they’re there for testers to verify the app’s compatibility with various NFC terminals from around the world, and as such, each currency can be added and removed at a moment’s notice.
That said, there’s already been mounting evidence that Google will bring Android Pay to Canada sometime this year. Last year, Reddit users noticed Scotiabank was testing the platform in Canada; in fact, there was a window where savvy Android users could add their Scotiabank credit and debit cards to the app, and use their smartphone to complete payments.
Version 1.22 also suggests Google is preparing to add support for its Visual ID facial recognition platform to Android Pay.
Google launched the Hands Free pilot program last year. The program allowed users who took advantage of Hands Free to check-out by saying that they would like to pay with Google and give cashiers their initials. The cashier would use a camera and Google facial recognition technology to complete the sale.
It appeared that Google had scrapped the program, but this latest APK suggests otherwise. It looks like Google will combine Android Pay and Hands Free, and name it Visual ID. We here in Canada shouldn’t expect a quick roll out as this would mean cameras would have to be installed at point-of-sales terminals across the country.
Whether Google will wait until cameras are installed at terminals so the company can launch Visual ID and Android Pay in Canada at the same, or launch Android Pay first is unknown.
Source: Android Police