Google’s New Payment App ‘Hands Free’ Revealed; How It Works


Google’s Android Pay has been successful after its debut, and it’s now getting 1.5 million new registrations each month on the average. The search engine giant wants to capitalise on that success and as such is launching a new initiative that brings hands-free payment solutions, aptly named “Hands Free.”

Hands Free is Google’s new pilot app for payments. It is currently under development, and it’s still in its early phase of testing. The premise behind Hands Free is simple – you can use the app to pay in cashiers hands-free. At the moment, the Mountain View-based company wants people in the San Francisco Bay Area to test out the app, which can now be downloaded from the Google Play Store and Apple’s iTunes App Store.

However, Hands Free only works with a limited number of local diners, although McDonald’s and Papa John’s, which happen to be gigantic food chains, are part of it.

Hands Free was first announced last May during the Google I/O event. It’s designed as a companion app to Android Pay. At the time of writing, Android Pay now has about 9 million registered users, but Google wants wants to “explore what the future of mobile payments could look like.”

Cashiers will have to identify its users by checking initials and the submitted photo to Hands Free. Google will also implement in-store cameras that will automatically confirm the user’s identity by simply taking a photo and then checking it with the profile on Hands Free. For those concerned with their photos, all of the images taken by the Hands Free camera will be deleted immediately.

For anyone who wants to try out the app, Hands Free currently requires devices running Android Jelly Bean 4.2 and above while it should be iPhone 4S and above for those that went the Apple route. Google will also offer up to $6.85 (US$5) off for first time purchases, which is at least something to get you interested in trying out the app.

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