Google would love it if your guests could walk in and out of your establishment, order their food and pay for it -- all while never taking their wallet out of their pockets.
The tech giant rolled out its "Hands Free" payment feature to select restaurants in the Bay Area. The service allows customers with the app to order, eat and pay by saying "I'll pay with Google."
Cashiers simply ask for the guest's initials and double-check the guest's uploaded photo. If that checks out, the payment goes through. A receipt is then emailed to the guest. The guest needs to have their phone on them, of course, but it can remain in their pockets.
We're just imagining that the Hands Free photo will be the new driver's license photo.
Google Hands Free isn't the only wallet-less payment option out there, of course. PayPal has a hands-free option, too, and Square experimented with hands-free payment in 2011 before abandoning the project.
Investors Business Daily ran a story in which the author, Max Cherney, test drove Hands Free from a consumer's POV. Max was impressed by the technology, saying it was smooth and easy to use.
While the thought of being able to walk into a location, get your goods and take off quickly sounds wonderful, not everyone is on-board with the "hands free" payment idea. According to Leo Sun of The Motley Fool, Google's going to run into a few problems:
We can also just imagine the juggling that would happen when a party of six wants to split the chest and each pay with Google, but maybe Google can iron that out. People are already carrying less cash on them than they have in the past and electronic payments have become much more mainstream. Hands-free payment might be that next evolution.