Can't scan gift cards

Sep 18, 2011
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I have a large amount of store gift cards to enter. And while all of google's documentation says you have the option to add gift cards by scanning (ie take a picture of) the barcode, that doesn't actually seem to be an option. I've looked at 15-20 retailers in the app and NONE offer the option to scan barcode. Each requires manual entry, which takes significantly longer. (the scan barcode option IS available for loyalty cards)

I did a customer service chat with google, which was enlightening but unhelpful. They 1st had me clear cache and restart phone. I was skeptical this would work, but I went along. Of course, it didn't change anything. The rep then asked "do you know how to put your phone into recovery (or maybe download) mode? At that point I stopped him and said, "look, it's not a device issue. The option is available for loyalty cards, my camera works, everything. It's just not offered for ANY gift cards."

At that point, he agreed "yep, looks like you have to enter them all manually at this point." - Huh. I thanked him for his time and suggested they update the documentation.

So my question to you all: has anyone been able to scan in a gift card? Does this wonderful unicorn exist?

PS - this is what they sent me in a follow-up email. sigh...

Thanks for asking how to add a retailer gift card to your Android Pay app! From inside your app, here's how:

  • Touch Add a gift card.
  • Enter the name of the merchant in the search box.
  • From the search results, touch the merchant's name.
  • Take a photo of the gift card or choose Add manually.
  • Set your gift card's automatic redemption option by choosing Cancel or Yes, continue.


Trusted Member
Nov 15, 2012
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It's just a guess, but I would say that it has the same limitations as ATM & credit cards - some gift cards (which are essentially prepaid credit cards) are supported and some (more likely, most) are not.

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