Google pilots Hands Free payments app

Google pilots Hands Free payments app

Google has begun testing its Hands Free payments app, letting a small group of people in San Francisco leave their wallets and phones in their pockets and pay just by talking.

It may have only recently launched Android Pay, but Google is already looking to save people the effort of digging their handsets out at the checkout.



South Bay residents are being invited to pilot the Hands Free Android and iOS app at a few McDonald’s, Papa John’s, and local eateries in the area.

The app uses Bluetooth low energy, Wi-Fi, and location services on phones to detect whether people are near a participating store.

At the checkout, participants say: "I’ll pay with Google." The cashier will ask for the person's initials and use a picture on a Hands Free profile to confirm the identity.

In some stores, Google is trying to make the process even less painful, using an in-store camera to automatically confirm identity based on customers' Hands Free profile pictures. The images are deleted immediately.

Google is not the first to try hands free payments. Square launched a similar product several years ago but dropped it after it failed to win over either retailers or customers.

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