Google has disclosed that it is doing tests on its ‘hands-free’ app project. This app is designed to allow Android and iOS smartphone users to buy through their devices without having to take them out of their pockets or purses.
The app is made to offer a hands-free connectivity through Bluetooth Low Energy, WiFi, and location services on a user device. The app will be able to detect when it is around a participating store. A customer will be required to check out at a store, and simply tell the cashier that Google Hands Free will make the payment.
A user will be required to upload a photo to their Hands Free profile, and they are experimenting with an in-store camera that will confirm your identity at checkout. This will aid in establishing your identity and thereby avoid unauthorized use.
Google also noted that all of the images of clients captured by the in-store cameras at checkout will be immediately deleted after making a purchase. It also added that users will have to confirm the initials of their names at checkout so that the purchase can be processed.
The Hands Free app is not Google’s first venture into mobile money payment. It has previously launched Google Wallet and Android Pay – which is known to offer contactless payments through a near field communication. Android Pay, which was launched last year with the support of various major payment networks such as Visa, American Express, and MasterCard, is already being used at McDonald’s and Papa John’s.
Now, according to Greg Sterling – Vice President of Strategy and Insights at the Local Search Association – the hands-free app is not meant to replace Android Pay, but this may be seen as giving an edge as a result of competing with other mobile payment methods. He also added by saying that many solutions are beginning to evolve. Google Wallet was not the success the company expected and began creating Android Pay, which is just a different brand. He said that the mobile payment methods are evolving and that this is just the beginning.
Google Hands Free will include a three-factor security advantage. The first one includes its proximity through the WiFi and Bluetooth. This means that the device has to be carried by the client and has to be in possession at checkout. The second is the photo which has to be used for confirmation, and the third one is where you have to give the initials of your name.
The privacy of using this app will also be put into consideration. While Google has made it known that the images will be deleted immediately after the purchase has been made, the users still need to be closely connected with Google to make use of the app.
Have questions? Find out more about the Google Hands Free app here!