It seems Android Pay on your smartphone (or smartwatch) isn’t enough for Google, as it wants to let you make payments in stores without needing to touch your handset.
Google has a new feature called Hands Free. It’s a separate app from Android Pay that can be used on either Android or iOS and will use a combination of Bluetooth LE, Wi-Fi and location services to work out if you’re in a participating store.
Then all you need to do is say “I’ll pay with Google” while at the checkout, tell the cashier your initials and you’ve paid.
Look ma, no hands
The server will be given a photo of you on their screen – which is connected to your Hands Free account – to make sure you’re using the right device, and some select stores will include cameras to help staff recognize you even faster.
Google wrote on its website, “Imagine if you could rush through a drive-thru without reaching for your wallet, or pick up a hot dog at the ballpark without fumbling to pass coins or your credit card to the cashier.
“This prompted us to build a pilot app called Hands Free that we’re now in the early stages of testing. It lets you pay in stores quickly, easily, and completely hands-free.”
Google is trialing the idea in the South Bay area of California in selected McDonald’s and Papa John’s stores. Plus in some stores Google will even give you a $5 discount.
It may also mean in the future you’ll be able to pay with a phone that doesn’t have NFC support, something you need to use Android Pay.