It seems that tapping your card on a machine is far too much work, at least as far as Google is concerned. ‘Hands Free’ is the new payment platform currently being trialled by the internet giant and it will come as a welcome relief to anyone who has had to fumble for their card while balancing a baby and shopping bags.
The platform is based around your phone. You walk up to the counter and say, ‘I’ll pay with Google.’ The system checks that your phone is nearby and the attendant identifies you using your initials and the photo you uploaded onto your Hands Free account. The system then removes the funds from your account and a message is sent to your phone. Done.
Interestingly, this is seemingly more secure than ‘tap and go.’ Your account cannot be accessed by the attendant unless your phone is nearby and you must then give your initials and the attendant then checks the profile photo on the account prior to approval. This means that if you simply lose your phone it can’t be used to make purchases in the same way that a bank card can. On top of this, the message that is sent to your phone confirming the purchase enables you to instantly check and challenge all purchases.
The benefit to stores is obvious also, as in-house systems will be able to track purchases off your phone as you walk into the store and recommend what you may wish to purchase next based on your taste, size, age etc. It’s online shopping but you’re not online as physical stores and the virtual world meld together and stores become locations to showcase wares rather then browse, which can be completed in the comfort of your own home.
Google once again proves that incremental innovation is just as powerful as revolution.