Google Is Testing a Completely Hands-Free Payment Method
Google has made it possible pay for goods and services just by saying the magic words, “I’ll pay with Google.” The tech giant announced on Wednesday that it has started to roll out a pilot program at select restaurants in San Francisco's South Bay for a new payment app called Hands Free that will allow users to make mobile payments without removing their phones from their pockets or purses.
Here’s how it works: Users simply download the Hands Free app to their devices and add a credit card and updated photo to their Google accounts. (The app is separate from Android Pay and is compatible with Android Jelly Bean v4.2, iPhone 4S, and newer models.) The app then uses Bluetooth low energy, Wi-Fi, location services, and other sensors to figure out if you're near a participating retailer. If you are, you can just say “I’ll Pay with Google” to the cashier when you’re ready to check out. The cashier will then use your Google account photo and initials to confirm your identity. That’s it! You’ll be automatically charged and will later receive a receipt via email or text message for your purchase.
So far, only select McDonald’s, Papa John's, and other eateries in San Francisco's South Bay are partnering with Google for hands-free payments. Google is using this pilot program as research with the hopes of launching a scalable product and service in the future. But for now, it seems like this is the easiest way to buy a Big Mac and large fries we've seen yet.