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Google Pay gets support for mobile boarding passes and event tickets

Mobile boarding passes and event tickets are coming to Google Pay, the web giant announced on Tuesday, May 8.

Put simply, this means you can just show the ticket on your smartphone when you arrive at the gate or venue, rather than giving yourself a full-body pat-down as you desperately try to recall which pocket you you put the paper ticket in. If you haven’t lost it, that is.

Google revealed the update during its annual I/O bash for developers, which is taking place this week close to its Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Google Pay already lets you store credit cards and loyalty cards, but this week’s update helps take it closer to Apple’s iPhone offering, which for a number of years has allowed users to keep mobile tickets inside what is now the Wallet app. The update has been a while coming, but it’s certainly a decent boost to Google Pay’s functionality and should be warmly received by users of the mobile payments system.

Google partnered with mobile engagement solutions company Urban Airship to help bring the enhancements to Google Pay. The Portland, Oregon-based outfit said in a release that it collaborated with Google “to create streamlined and engaging ticketing and boarding pass experiences.”

It pointed out that unlike paper tickets or emailed boarding passes, the mobile wallet tickets aim to offer a more convenient experience for travelers, with, for example, real-time updates such as departure time changes sent directly to a smartphone’s lock screen, and personalized one-to-one messaging within the card.

“Google Pay’s new support for tickets and boarding passes means customers will always have up-to-date information when they need it most — on the go,” said Brett Caine, CEO and president of Urban Airship.

Users of Google Pay should also see other benefits. Doug Kruse of online ticketing company TicketNetwork explained that mobile wallet tickets also offer “a path for post-event re-engagement as we can update tickets with other events they may be interested in attending, with an easy path to purchase.” So, yes, you may end up spending more money, but at least it’ll be on something you enjoy.

Recently discovered code in the Google Pay app revealed that the company was prepping the launch of boarding passes and event tickets, and earlier this week, as if any further confirmation was needed, Android Police spotted that Southwest Airlines had launched the feature a little ahead of time.

The official announcement finally landed on Tuesday during the Build With Google Pay session at Google I/O, with travel and entertainment companies, among others, expected to hop aboard imminently.

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Trevor Mogg
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