Google to Shut Down Hands Free Payment Platform on February 8
Google is shutting down its Hands Free wireless payment platform less than a year after its launch. Hands Free began as a pilot program in the San Francisco Bay area in early 2016, but it will stop operations this Wednesday, February 8.
Hands Free was designed to take mobile wallet technology to the next level. Users were not required to use a card or even their phone to complete a payment. If they were in a store that had Hands Free technology, they could say “I’d like to pay with Google” and the cashier would complete the rest. The customer would still have to show identification, but the overall process was geared to be quick and simple.
Google has not said why they are stopping the pilot program, but most likely there was an issue with consumers adopting the technology. On the Hands Free website, Google said “We’re going to focus our efforts on bringing the best of the Hands Free technology to a wider audience.”
Where is “the best of Hands Free technology” going to go? Android Pay. In an email from Google, the Hands Free Team told one user to start taking advantage of the opportunities and rewards available through Android Pay. With the amount of success Google has seen from its mobile wallet, chances are that any usable Hands Free technology will be incorporated into Android Pay.
If you live in the Bay Area and have used Hands Free, redeem any rewards you have earned before February 8. They will not be transferable to any other platform.