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MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
52,421
14,129



Google today announced a pilot program for its "Hands Free" payment service, allowing customers in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area to pay for goods and services over Bluetooth using a photograph for confirmation.

Hands Free, as the name implies, is aimed at allowing people to make purchases without the need to pull out a phone or a wallet. It requires customers to create a profile (with photo) through the Hands Free app, available for both iOS and Android. When in a location that supports Hands Free payments, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and location services on the phone will communicate with the store's cash point-of-sale system.


When ready to make a payment, customers can say "I'll pay with Google," and the cashier will confirm the payment using the person's initials and the photo associated with the Hands Free app, both of which are displayed to the cashier on the cash register. In select locations, Google is also using a visual identification via an in-store camera to confirm identity based on the Hands Free profile picture.

As with Android Pay, Hands Free does not transmit full card details to retailers, and purchases made send notifications to the accompanying phone. Google says it sends alerts if any unusual activity is detected and suspicious transactions won't go through without approval.

Hands Free payment options are currently available at select locations in the South Bay, including McDonald's and Papa John's Pizza.

The Hands Free app for the iPhone can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Google Testing 'Hands Free' Payment System on Android and iOS
 

zahuh

macrumors regular
Oct 22, 2004
181
1,131
This feels like what Steve would have done and he would have made fun of the fact other competitors make you take your phone out. I'm jealous. I have to agree about security concerns or accidentally accepting my phone rather than a friend next to me but they'll figure out how to solve that. Hands-free is awesome.
 
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gixxerfool

macrumors 65816
Jun 7, 2008
1,065
735
Maybe it's just me, but this seems to be trying to reinvent the wheel.

Mistaken identity is quite common. I have been called Chris Cornell in my high school days and Paul Jr in my 20s. Apparently I could pass for Duff Goldman in recent years. My point is, the human error factor would seem to be way high on this.

While the transaction may be secure, the servers are begging to be hacked.

My $.02 there's too many possible issues.
 
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djbuddha

macrumors 6502
Aug 7, 2011
336
340
Seeing as there was a report recently stating how many android devices don't actually have very secure encryption and seeing as a fingerprint is much more of a an identifier that's secure (as stated above) I think I'll pass on this.

It's like corporations heard the selfie song from years ago and got inspired in 2016 (I'm talking to you too MasterCard)
 
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BruiserB

macrumors 68000
Aug 9, 2008
1,635
545
Yea, as hard as it is to find stores that take ApplePay/NFC, and as poorly educated as most cashiers seem at the places that do take it, I'm not optimistic I'm going to be able to say "I'll pay with Google" to anyone and not just have them give me a blank stare back.
 
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Mactendo

macrumors 68000
Oct 3, 2012
1,967
2,044
1984 is approaching us faster than expected.

First you pay as described above, then one day all payments go in the cloud and you don't need to have an app/card/wallet. The next step is that one day you don't have an app/card/wallet at all and you are paying everywhere just by approaching a cashier, where an automatic camera scans your face, finds you in the centralized cloud database and approves your payment.

But then one day you hear:
"Sorry, John, your payment was declined", or
"Your account is blocked", or
"We can't find you in the database.
Please contact federal authorities. They may have some questions".

This Google idea is evil.
 
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coltman75

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2010
115
163
1984 is approaching us faster than expected.

First you pay as described above, then one day all payments go in the cloud and you don't need to have an app/card/wallet. The next step is that one day you don't have an app/card/wallet at all and you are paying everywhere just by approaching a cashier, where an automatic camera scans your face, finds you in the centralized cloud database and approves your payment.

But then one day you hear:
"Sorry, John, your payment was declined", or
"Your account is blocked", or
"We can't find you in the database.
Please contact federal authorities. They may have some questions".

This Google idea is evil.
As if freezing your accounts isn't something that already happens?
 
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2010mini

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2013
4,534
4,526
Retail store do a very poor job of training their staff on NFC transactions. Can you imagine the confusion this is going to cause?
 
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Studioman

macrumors regular
Jun 17, 2015
135
194
So when the crook goes to the Walmart their friend works at to buy that $1000 TV and says I'll pay with Google, and they ok the transaction. Who pays to cover the fraud. I would much rather maintain control of the authority to process a transaction.
 
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pcmike

macrumors 6502
Jun 17, 2007
375
171
Lake Worth, FL
So when the crook goes to the Walmart their friend works at to buy that $1000 TV and says I'll pay with Google, and they ok the transaction. Who pays to cover the fraud. I would much rather maintain control of the authority to process a transaction.

Obviously the charge would have to go through... The fraud is going to fall on the consumer who "opted in" to hands free payments..
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,805
14,813
In between a rock and a hard place
So when the crook goes to the Walmart their friend works at to buy that $1000 TV and says I'll pay with Google, and they ok the transaction. Who pays to cover the fraud. I would much rather maintain control of the authority to process a transaction.
Walmart covers the fraud because it was done by their employee. Fires and has cashier arrested. Cashier turns on their friend. It'll all be on video anyway. Fraud would be handled no differently than it has always been handled.
 
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Swordylove

macrumors 6502a
Apr 23, 2012
622
110
This is not any more secure than the signature method. The only plus is it's hands-free.
 
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MuppetGate

macrumors regular
Jan 20, 2012
206
21
This is not any more secure than the signature method. The only plus is it's hands-free.

Agreed. This is a terrible idea because it relies on the cashier making the right call when there are twenty other customers standing behind the one who's shaved off his beard since the picture was taken.
[doublepost=1456988666][/doublepost]I guess the secure part comes in when you call out your initials to the cashier.
 
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bennibeef

macrumors 6502
May 22, 2013
340
161
Yeah thats going to be a nice experience, standing in line at the coffeeshop with 10 people behind you, you say "i'll pay with google"

And the cashier is like Okay,
I need to confirm a few things:
(what is your google id? maybe not)
What is your name?
Where do you live?
For verification your secret question:
what is your pets name?

And thats the moment you realize your answer for that would be something like pussycat or some **** you put in that box when you signed up, you think to yourself. That sucks. I had to tell him all this this stuff why is this better!?!
 
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kdarling

macrumors P6
Sounds like it's a neat experiment mostly to be used by Google employees and fans in the Bay Area.

The mistake many posters are making is trying to compare it to payment systems that are not hands free. Instead, it should be compared to what most people are using now... paying with just a card and no verification.

This method is not only totally hands free, but it also has the same security as using a credit card with a photo ID, which is far more than the system Americans have been using for decades and are still using: no photo and a signature that is unverifiable.
 
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