iPhone users have been having all the fun with digital wallet-based tickets and airplane boarding passes — until Tuesday of this week.
That’s when Google announced at its I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California, that it is now adding them to its Google Pay mobile digital wallet, complementing the existing wallet-based coupons and loyalty cards.
At the same time, Urban Airship announced the first support for these Android tickets and passes on a mobile marketing platform. Its Digital Growth Platform, connected via APIs to back-end systems for airlines or other brands, currently provides active content for more than 250 million iPhone-using air travelers across more than a dozen airlines.
The platform allows a non-technical user to create the dynamic content on the Android tickets or passes, which can be designed to change if, for instance, an airplane’s departure time changes.
There is also the ability to generate one-to-one messaging or segmented targeting, as well as an Adaptive Link that a brand can use in apps, sites or emails for downloads of tickets or passes. After a click on that link, the Urban Airship platform serves the ticket or pass that’s appropriate for either an Android or iOS device.
At this point, Director of Product Management Daniel Ackerman told me, the tickets and passes on Android and iOS are “pretty much equal,” although there is no content on the back of the Android ones, as there is on iOS versions. Previously, he said, some brands had adapted Android coupons into a kind of ticket, but it didn’t have the ticket layout or the ability for personalization to a specific person’s event or flight.
Ackerman added that Google is now developing at least a couple of capabilities that are not currently available in their iOS counterparts, namely fraud prevention and the ability to manage tickets or passes by groups.