Hands Free Payment Method Introduced By Google
That’s right, Google have made it so not only do we not have to carry cash, but we don’t even have to tap our card to make payments anymore. In a controversial step towards eliminating the need of physical payment methods, Google have created a free app which recognises your voice in order to make payments at selected stores.
You can download the app on both iOS and Android devices although it may be some time before it reaches our shores here in Australia, with only a handful of large chain restaurants trialling the app in the West Coast area of the USA. These early participants include global franchise McDonalds and extremely popular American pizza chain Papa Johns.
How Does Google Hands Free Work?
After downloading and installing the app, Hands Free will use your location settings on your device through Bluetooth and WiFi to let you know if there is any store nearby that accepts Hands Free as a method of payment. Once you are ready to purchase your items, you simply say to the cashier, “I’ll pay with Google”. Then you will be asked by the cashier for your initials, which are used to confirm your identity as well as your Google display photo which you can choose for your Hands Free app.
Google’s senior director of product management for consumer & merchant payment methods has revealed that the product will aim to implement a visual ID system in the future, making paying for goods and services faster than ever before. Some users are already sceptical of the security aspect of the product, although Google assures users that all images taken are deleted immediately and only used to service the functionality of the app.
While the app is still in the very early stages, it is starting to look like a cashless society isn’t so far away. With the gravitation towards ‘tap and go’ payments for EFTPOS payments, it seems that consumers are happy to sacrifice cash to make payment as quick as possible. It’s not too surprising to see Google embrace a cashless system, as it now has the opportunity to further personalise your online experience with the help of your transaction records. If they didn’t know before through your location settings, if Hands Free is successful, they will now have the opportunity to know where you get your morning coffee from, your local lunch spot and even your favourite place to get a drink after work.
While some people see it as a possible breach of privacy and share worry with the security elements of the app, others are embracing the idea of not having to lift a finger to buy their lunch.
This leads us to the big question: How much privacy are you willing to give up for convenience?