Hands Free by Google could be way better than Apple Pay
Yesterday’s Android Pay reveal at Google I/O was a slight disappointment in that, it’s pretty much just like Apple Pay. Google added pretty much zero innovation to Apple’s idea that debuted last year, but what the company didn’t show us, is that it has a way better payments system up its sleeve.
It’s called Hands Free. It’s a complete separate app from Android Pay. And as an Apple fan, I hate to say it, but it looks like it could be way better than Apple Pay.
Check it out:
Google just unveiled its Hands Free website this morning. Information is still pretty bare, but it sounds like it works very similar to Android Pay and Apple Pay, except you don’t have to verify your identity to make a purchase.
There’s no details on how your kid or a thief can’t just stroll into a store with your phone and buy some goodies. All Google says is your full card details aren’t shared with stores, and they’ll alert you to any unusual activity.
Other company’s have actually tried this in the past without gaining much traction. Square’s Card Case allowed customers to open tabs and make payments by telling the Merchant your name. PayPal also introduced a USB dongle that let users make hands-free payments over Bluetooth. Neither services gained much popularity among Merchants.
Hands Free will roll out to select stores in the San Francisco Bay area later this year. McDonalds and Papa John’s have already signed up to support it, and there’s a form on Google’s site where merchants can request to join the beta. Apple is rumored to be working on an update for Apple Pay that includes loyalty rewards and other new features, but unless there’s a new option where I don’t even have to raise my Apple Watch to Pay, Google might have just just leapfrogged them, if it actually works as well as advertised.