Android Pay Ruins Loyalty Cards by Tying Access to Your Credit Card Information!

I used Google Wallet for one reason: it held my loyalty cards. Unfortunately, with the new Android Pay I can’t access my loyalty cards unless I have a compatible bank card added! Wallet functioned fine without a card added, and even if I add a bank card, if it’s not a supported card I can’t access anything in Android Pay.

Needless to say, I’m incredibly frustrated with Google right now. Wallet worked great for me, and I liked having my loyalty cards handy in digital form. I also liked that I could always have a backup of my cards via Google Takeout, plus Wallet would often remind me when I was in a store where I had a loyalty card and prompt me to sign in and access it. For a short time I did have a card linked to Wallet, but I wasn’t using it for many NFC payments, so I deleted it from Wallet. When Google announced they were splitting Wallet’s cash transfer features off and renaming the remaining features “Android Pay”, I didn’t think it would matter much. Google promised my cards would move over seamlessly, and it didn’t matter to me which icon had to be tapped for my cards. As it turns out, it matters a whole lot.

I tried accessing Android Pay and found I couldn’t get past the request for a card. Not a big deal, I added my card and figured I’d be all set. Then a message popped up that my bank wasn’t currently supported, and it asked if I had any cards from supported banks. I didn’t, and so it booted me right back to the screen requesting a card. Nothing is accessible. I can’t delete my bank information for the card that isn’t compatible, I can’t access any of my loyalty cards, and there is apparently no workaround. If you don’t want a credit card/debit card linked to Android Pay, you cannot access your loyalty cards via the app any longer!

Luckily I used Google Takeout to transfer my Wallet data to my Google Drive, and I’ve discovered Keyring had saved all my loyalty information from when I last used it. So I don’t think I’m missing more than one or two cards, and I can add those manually if needed. But it is unacceptable that Google has tied a simple service like loyalty cards to my banking information, and to specific banks in particular! It’s beyond customer-unfriendly, and it leaves me with a very sour taste about Android Pay and the future of Google’s mobile payments service!

Have you lost access to loyalty cards thanks to Android Pay? Do you know of a workaround? Let us know!


About the Author

Carly Z
Carly has been a gadget fiend for a long time, going back to her first PDA (a Palm M100). She quickly went from researching what PDA to buy to following tech news closely and keeping up with the latest and greatest stuff. She loves writing about ebooks because they combine her two favorite activities; reading anything and everything, and talking about fun new tech toys. What could be better?