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Google’s Hands Free Payments looks like the coolest way to buy something

by Brandon Russell | May 29, 2015May 29, 2015 3:00 pm PDT

Paying with your phone is easy. Using a service like Apple Pay, you simply take your phone out, raise it to a compatible terminal, and you’re good to go. It’s that easy, and, along with Samsung Pay, these are the service that will likely be the future of mobile payments. But Google might have just come up with the best solution of all.

While a lot of the attention yesterday was focused on its new service, known as Android Pay, the search giant actually has another, and even better solution up its sleeve. Quietly introduced on Friday, Google has a new service called Hands Free Payments in the works, and it’s exactly how it sounds.

The video above demonstrates how it all works. Rather than fumbling around for your wallet, or even taking out your phone, just walk into a store, tell the cashier you want to pay with Google, and you’re done. That’s about as simple as it gets.

Google says the service is on its way to McDonalds and Papa Johns in the San Francisco Bay Area, and will initially only be available as a preview. More stores will likely support the service as it gains more traction; Google is asking for merchants to sign up if they’re interested in offering the service, while consumers are encouraged to request an invite to use the service.

Apple Pay has proven using your phone is a convenient and secure way to purchase stuff, but Hands Free might be the easiest way yet. Like a normal payment solution, Google says Hands Free will never share full card details with merchants, while instant notifications will appear on your phone the second you make a payment. And should Google notice any unusual activity, the search giant will let you know.

What Google fails to share is how Google will verify someone’s ID. If it’s as easy as the video shows, anyone can seemingly walk into a store, say, with my phone, and say the magic words, “I’d like to pay with Google.” It’s like a secret password to get into a speakeasy. Will retailers have access to your picture and other information in order to verify your ID?

It looks like an awesome solution, but there are plenty of unanswered questions.

Google

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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