Google Announces New Hands Free Payment App

Chris CrumeCommerce & Retail, EnterpriseeCommerce

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Google announced it is piloting a new payment app called Hands Free with South Bay residents. The goal is to let users pay in stores in completely hands-free fashion.

The app is available for both Android and iOS and works at a few McDonald's, Papa John's, and local eatery locations in South Bay. Those lucky enough to be able to use it can even get $5 off their first Hands Free purchase.

Senior director of product management Pali Bhat writes on the Google Commerce blog:

Once you’ve installed and set up the app, Hands Free uses Bluetooth low energy, Wi-Fi, and location services on your phone to detect whether you’re near a participating store. When you’re ready to pay, you can simply tell the cashier, “I’ll pay with Google.” The cashier will ask for your initials and use the picture you added to your Hands Free profile to confirm your identity.

At select stores, we’re also in the early stages of experimenting with visual identification so that you can breeze through checkout even faster. This process uses an in-store camera to automatically confirm your identity based on your Hands Free profile picture. All images captured by the Hands Free camera are deleted immediately.

It's unclear when the pilot might be opened up to more people and/or include more partners, but that probably depends on how it goes during this initial run.

Google has averaged 1.5 million new registrations per month for Android Pay since launching it in September. Currently in the U.S. alone there are over 2 million locations that accept it. Google made it available for apps in December.

Images via Google

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.