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Google yesterday said it was testing ways to use digital wallets without people having to even take smartphones out of their pockets.

The company is dabbling with ways to make its Android Pay system for smartphones hands-free, with verification by facial recognition, Google’s product manager, Pali Bhat, said in a blog.


“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,” Bhat said.

“This prompted us to build a pilot app called Hands Free that we’re now in the early stages of testing.”

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Hands Free became available for smartphones powered by Apple or Android software and was being rolled out at a small number of Silicon Valley area eateries.

The digital wallet uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections alone, with location-sensing capabilities in smartphones to detect when someone is near a store enabled with Hands Free payment technology.

“When you’re ready to pay, you can simply tell the cashier: ‘I’ll pay with Google’,” Bhat said.

“The cashier will ask for your initials and use the picture you added to your Hands Free profile to confirm your identity.”


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