Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has announced the launch of a new mobile payment solution that pushes the envelope further through hands-free payment.
The company revealed that the initial launch and testing phase will be carried out in a few locations in the Bay Area. The locations include local restaurants, a few shops that belong to Papa John’s Int’l, Inc. (NASDAQ:PZZA) as well as McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD).
The payment solution has also been named Hands Free and it operates through an app that developers created for both Android and iOS from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The service relies on Bluetooth, WiFi, and location services to identify whether the user is at a payment location. For it to work, the person has to say “I’ll pay with Google.” The person handling the payment register then confirms the payer’s identity through a photo before authenticating the transaction.
The company mentioned the Hands Free payment service last year in May during Google’s I/O developer conference. The payment service was designed to complement Google’s Android Pay, though the two are different. Android Pay currently has roughly 9 million registered members though Google has been thinking of trying out other mobile payment options to determine what they hold for the future.
Hands Free was designed to offer simplicity and convenience in mobile payments where the users will not have to reach for their devices. Google’s senior director for product management, Pali Bhat, explained its viability with the example of a person paying at a drive through without the need to reach for their wallets. Google has only revealed that the service is currently in the pilot phase, and it has not revealed whether the service will be expanded to other places anytime soon.
The company claims that it has installed cameras to verify the payer’s face and that the images and customer information used by the service are only used to confirm identities. Google also revealed that the images are not saved onto its servers.