With the new ‘hands free’ payment service the tech giant is currently testing in San Francisco’s South Bay, it will be as simple as uttering the magic words: “I’ll Pay with Google” to pay for your stuff.
There’s no need to pull out your wallet, your credit card or to fumble for cash to buy that yummy hot dog or cup of Frappuccino.
The new payment method is called ‘Hands Free’ and it basically relies on pairing your smartphone’s sensors with a point of sales system as you whizz past a human cashier. Nevertheless, you’ll need to activate the service by saying “I’ll Pay with Google” phrase. The service will be first tested in San Francisco Bay Area starting March 2.
Pali Bhat, head of product management, explained that the new system would make wallets, phones, credit cards, and even cash unnecessary. All you will need is a smartphone connected to the Hands Free service and a bank account.
When you approach a cashier, the system will prompt the human operator that your phone is in the area and that Hands Free is ready to be used. After you tell the cashier that you’ll pay with Google and provide your initials, the system withdraws the necessary money from your bank account.
To prevent fraud, cashiers will check in real-time whether your face matches the one in the Google profile paired with the payment service. The new system, however, pushes things a little further than Android and Apple Pay did.
The two mobile payment services so far only allow users to pay for their shopping through their smartphones. But none of them managed to perform a transaction without the user physically pulling out their handsets.
If the new method is successful, it should help Android Pay become more popular. According to Google, the payment service sees 1.5 million new users every month in the U.S. alone, though there are only 2 million locations where you could use your Android phone to make a payment.
Nevertheless, the idea of a ‘hands free’ payment service is not new. Square had the idea first, but the technology it employed was slightly different. Square used geofencing technology, while the web search giant uses a different approach. Both services, however, aimed at the same result: completing a transaction without taking your wallet, credit card or smartphone out of pocket.
Bhat explained that Google has an edge against its competitors because its service heavily relies on Google Maps, and it is secured by an advanced fraud detection system.
Image Source: Wikimedia