You might have forgotten (or maybe you didn’t even know) that before there was Android Pay, they had Google Hands Free. Introduced back in 2015, it didn’t really take off and they weren’t even able to market it properly. So it’s not surprising that Google is announcing that they will be discontinuing the service and shutting it down by February 8. For the very few people who actually used it, you just have a week to go back to paying for your purchases the normal way or switch to Android Pay if your device supports it.
Google Hands Free, from the name itself, allowed users to pay for their purchases without having to bring out either your wallet or even your smartphone. It uses Bluetooth to connect your mobile device to payment terminals, and you just have to say “I’ll pay with Google” and it should automatically send your payment, if you’ve already pre-set it of course.
But apparently, not many people were able to get into it, and Google themselves didn’t really push it to the market and so now they’ve decided to shut it down by next week. The technology itself may be of some use later on, and that is probably why the Hands Free site shows a statement from Google saying they’re “working to bring the best of the Hands Free technology to even more people and stores.”
Now whether or not we’ll see that tech in Android Pay is something that is still unconfirmed at this point. We’ll have to wait for further announcements, but this will probably be a boon for the mobile payment system and may even convince some users to actually use Android Pay already.