Android Pay may be the next stage of payments for most Android users in the near future, but it isn’t the only payment system that Google has in the works. Just this morning, the Mountain View, CA-based search company has announced that they’re testing a new form of payments that will be coming soon to the San Francisco Bay area, simply known as “hands-free payments” which will allow customers to pay for stuff without having to fish for cash or extra change, or rifle through purses or bags for credit or debit cards. No, Google’s hands-free payments will allow people to pay for things simply by telling merchants they’d like to pay with Google. Sounds easy right?
Just like with Android Pay the hands-free payment system seems to have extra layers of security in place to protect consumers. With hands-free payments making purchases keeps a consumers “full card details” from being shared with merchants. Google states that alerts are immediately sent out to users after they make purchases and notifications are sent out if they notice any potentially fraudulent or suspicious activity happening with their account. On the main page for the service, interested persons who reside in the San Francisco Bay area can request an invite to test out hands-free payments, although at the moment Google doesn’t mention where people will be able to use this service or when it begins testing.
Both McDonald’s and Papa Johns are listed on the webpage so it’s reasonable to assume they will be two of the starting partners, although it isn’t explicitly stated and pictures of their brands are merely displayed. Google does mention however that they are working with select merchants in the area for the preview, and they have a request form set up that allows merchants who are interested in being part of the trial request to be considered as a participating merchant. Google is starting the test with select Bay area merchants later this year, although there is no exact dates listed for a release to the general public. With Android Pay slated to roll out to users by Summer time and hands-free payments being tested later in 2015, Google is showcasing that they’re taking alternative methods of payments seriously and that they want to offer more than just one option. Since this is going to begins as preview though there is a chance that it could never make it to market.