Hands Free Card Payments
Google is now apparently in the midst of trialing an app that allows its users to pay using hands free card payments. It’s only in its trial period so far so they can see how effectively it works. If it’s successful it will work by using WIFI and Bluetooth, and other location detectors to establish whether you are in a participating store. If you are, then you should be good to go. Once you are close enough to the checkout, all you have to do (once all your items are scanned and you are ready to pay) is say “I’ll pay with Google”.
The cashier will then check their initials and their picture from their profile to confirm their identity. The extra verification of the user’s identity makes this process more cumbersome than it should be, given that the aim of going hands free is to reduce payment friction, so it’ll be interesting to see if anything comes from this trial, or whether hands free payment disappears without a trace.
It would be easy to say “why bother?” but the idea of the app (we assume) is to help out people who already have their hands full – for example in the airport when you might be carrying a lot of bags or parents trying to hang on to their children in a busy shop.
The question is: how efficiently will it work? The problem lies within the voice command technology. Sometimes it’s a struggle for Siri to properly make sense of a request. People with strong accents have no chance. Just imagine a Glaswegian saying “I’ll pay with Google,” over and over again until it just turns to effing and jeffing. Funny for everyone else but frustrating for him and Google.
Nobody can be sure yet what will come of this, but for the meantime here is a Google’s promo video for Hands Free Payment:
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