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Google Testing New iOS & Android Payment System “Hands Free”

Consumers in the San Francisco Bay area are the first to be trying out a new payment system from Google. The new system will allow payments to be made via Bluetooth using a photo for confirmation.

The new service, called “Hands Free,” eliminates the need to pull out a smartphone or wallet to pay for goods. After creating an account (including a photo) with the new Hands Free app, available on both iOS and Android, the phone’s WiFi, Bluetooth, and location services will communicate with the store’s systems allowing purchases to be made hands free.

When it’s time to pay and a customer says, “I’ll pay with Google,” the cashier will see the customer’s initials and their photo associated with the app on the cash register and be able to use that to confirm the payment. While not all locations are supporting it, Google is using in-store cameras in some to help verify the identity of the customer using the app, based on their profile photo.

Similar to Apple Pay and Android Pay, the new system doesn’t transmit full card details to the retailer, making it a more secure option in the event of another store hack, like we’ve seen over the past few years. As with the other services, a push notification will be sent to the user’s phone when purchase is made, as well as if suspicious activity is suspected within the app.

The new system is currently only supported at Papa John’s Pizza and McDonald’s in the San Francisco Bay area, but we’re hoping to see the service expand soon to cover more stores, as well as more locations around the world.

If you’re lucky enough to live in the area and would like to try out Hands Free, the app is available on the iOS App Store as well as Google Play. Will you be checking out the service if it makes its way to your area? Personally, I think it’s an interesting concept and I’d like to have the chance to at least test it out.

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