Google is all about making its users’ experience better, so it’s rolling out today a pilot program that will help them pay without ever taking their wallets or phones out of their pockets.
The new payment method is called Hands Free, and it allows your smartphone to connect with a point of sales system via your phone’s sensors.
Seeing that the point of sale device is already aware that your phone is in the area, you can use Hands Free when you want to pay for something. For now, Google is launching its pilot in the Southern San Francisco Bay Area.
Pali Bhat, Google’s senior director of product management, explained the team has been looking at the crummy experience of a user as it is right now; the phone gets in the way, and the wallet gets in the way, and most importantly, the cash gets in the way.
And seeing that we make several purchases daily, we are inconvenienced like this multiple times a day. That’s about to change if all goes as planned with Google’s pilot program.
When the user walks up to a cashier, the point of sale system detects the phone’s presence, and it is given the ability to charge the user’s card that’s connected to the Hands Free.
All the user has to do is say “I’ll pay with Google” and give the cashier their initials – that’s it; the transaction is closed without any more fuss.
To avoid someone else using your credit card, cashiers will also be able to detect whether or not you are the same person in the photo you’ve given to your Google profile.
Google’s goal is to “reduce friction in the payments process.” This is a process that’s started with tools like Android and Apple Pay, which allow users to pay for products with their phone instead of having to take out their wallet and pay with a credit card.
Companies like Google and Apple are keen on such payment methods to catch on, because it means the user gets closer to the phone, increasing the chance that they’ll pay for products via Google or Apple Pay.
And if you’ve already linked a credit card to your phone, it’s going to be easier to pay for apps through Google Play and the App Store. If Google’s Hands Free catches on, it’ll be interesting to see Apple’s reaction – will they replicate the system?
Image Source: News Factor