Shopping & Payments

Testing, testing — One, two, Hands Free

Calling all South Bay residents: we are piloting a new payment app and would love your feedback! 

First, some background. Since we launched Android Pay, we've averaged 1.5 million new registrations each month in the US alone and there are now over 2 million locations that accept tap and pay. But we’re not stopping there—we're busy working to bring the convenience of Android Pay to more countries and a growing list of stores and apps.

At the same time, we also wanted to explore what the future of mobile payments could look like. Imagine if you could rush through a drive-thru without reaching for your wallet, or pick up a hot dog at the ballpark without fumbling to pass coins or your credit card to the cashier. This prompted us to build a pilot app called Hands Free that we’re now in the early stages of testing. It lets you pay in stores quickly, easily, and completely hands-free.

While the pilot is still in early stages, we’ve come to a point where we're ready to invite people in the South Bay to test Hands Free with us. Hands Free is currently available on Android and iOS devices and is rolling out to a small number of McDonald’s, Papa John’s, and local eateries in the area.

Once you’ve installed and set up the app, Hands Free uses Bluetooth low energy, Wi-Fi, and location services on your phone to detect whether you’re near a participating store. When you’re ready to pay, you can simply tell the cashier, “I’ll pay with Google.” The cashier will ask for your initials and use the picture you added to your Hands Free profile to confirm your identity.

At select stores, we’re also in the early stages of experimenting with visual identification so that you can breeze through checkout even faster. This process uses an in-store camera to automatically confirm your identity based on your Hands Free profile picture. All images captured by the Hands Free camera are deleted immediately.

To learn more about the Hands Free pilot, please visit the Hands Free website.

We’ll continue to improve the technology behind Hands Free, and we’re excited to hear your feedback. As an added thank you for testing Hands Free, we’re offering up to $5 off your first Hands Free purchase at participating stores.