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What are rotating barcodes?
What are rotating barcodes?

Using rotating barcodes on Google Wallet passes

Danny Allen avatar
Written by Danny Allen
Updated over a week ago

Rotating barcodes in Google Wallet passes are a security feature that enhances the protection of your tickets and passes.

NOTE: The rotating barcode feature only supports QR and PDF417 barcode types

Here's how they work:

  • Dynamic updates: Unlike static barcodes that remain the same, rotating barcodes refresh their pattern at regular intervals, typically every minute. This means a screenshot of the barcode will become invalid shortly after it's taken.

  • Enhanced security: This dynamic nature makes it significantly harder for someone to steal or misuse your pass by simply taking a picture of it. Even if someone intercepts the barcode data, it will expire quickly, rendering it useless.

  • Wider compatibility: For devices without NFC (either lacking hardware or having it disabled), rotating barcodes serve as a backup to Smart Tap.

Think of it like a password that constantly changes. Even if someone gets hold of your old password, it won't grant them access because a new one has already taken its place.

Here are some benefits of using rotating barcodes in Google Wallet passes:

  • Reduced risk of ticket theft: Screenshots of barcodes are a common way for unauthorized access to events or services. Rotating barcodes minimize this risk by making screenshots obsolete.

  • Added protection against resale: Scalping or unauthorized resale of tickets becomes more difficult with rotating barcodes, as the original barcode quickly becomes invalid.

  • Peace of mind for users: Knowing that your passes have an extra layer of security can provide peace of mind and prevent unnecessary worry about potential misuse.

How to enable rotating barcodes

Step 1 - Navigate to your pass design, and with the Google Design selected click on the barcodes tab.

Step 2 - Use the toggle to enable rotating barcodes

Make sure to click 'Save' when done.

Overall, rotating barcodes are a valuable security feature that Google Wallet offers to enhance the protection and usability of your passes. They add an extra layer of defense against unauthorized access and contribute to a more secure and convenient experience for pass holders.

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