Voice Pay — what’s next?!

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LOS ANGELES – Are you ready to pay at the cash register with your voice?

Mobile payments, despite massive hype, have yet to take off. In fact, they haven’t even reached 1% of total retail sales yet. That number isn’t expected to be hit until 2019, according toForrester Research.

So this week Google introduced a new, potentially simpler way to get folks to ditch their credit cards at the register. With Handsfree, a new app, you can pay with the phone but without reaching for your Android handset or iPhone.

Handsfree is a new app, being tested in San Francisco at a handful of McDonald’s andPapa John’s Pizza locations, that lets you approach the cash register and simply say, “I’ll pay with Google.”

A combination of bluetooth, Wi-Fi, phone sensors and in-store cameras connects the phone in your pocket or purse with the cash register. The retail security camera matches your image with the selfie you uploaded to the app for confirmation.

There’s a lot for the phone to get right? Can it pull it off? What if the restaurant is really busy–can all the technology hear your voice correctly amidst all the other people talking?

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.


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