Google just released Hands Free, an app that allows for in-store payments without having to get out a phone or wallet. Though at the time the app is in pilot mode and only working on select stores, the app can be revolutionary for the flexible workspace industry; especially for operators that offer hourly and daily rates, or add-on services like laundry and transportation.
How it Works
The Hands Free website explains that: “The Hands Free app uses Bluetooth low energy, WiFi, location services, and other sensors on your phone to detect whether you are near a participating store. This enables you to pay hands-free, without fumbling with your phone or opening the Hands Free app.
When you are ready to pay at a store, simply tell the cashier “I’ll pay with Google”. The cashier confirms your identity, using your initials and the photo you added to your Hands Free profile.
An Opportunity for Workspace Operators
There’s no indication on the website that states what types of businesses and stores are qualified to use the app, however there is a form that business owners can submit if they are interested in adding Hands Free as a method of payment.
Earlier this year, we predicted that mobile payments were going to make a splash in the flexible workspace industry, and Hands Free is proving the prediction right. A high percentage of flexible workspace users are remote workers and digital nomads that are constantly on the go. Cash transactions usually involve a lot of hassle and credit or debit cards can prove to be difficult at times, especially when working from abroad.
By using this type of payment technology, operators make it easier for mobile workers to pay for their space and services, increasing the chances of them staying and actually using the space, even if just for a few hours. It’s also beneficial for the operators in terms of accepting and keeping track of payments; these types of payment methods are pre-approved, make it easier to send digital receipts, and facilitate tracking purchases.
As a Google technology it follows the latest security protocols plus, it makes business transactions easier and quicker for everyone involved.
Image taken from Google’s Hands Free website.