As Apple took the mobile payments market by storm last year with the introduction and hard push of Apple Pay into retailers, Google has started looking beyond its Google Wallet offering to provide new ways for people to pay for things with their Android phones.

The Information has the story:

Google last fall began testing a service called “Plaso” that allows people carrying Android phones to pay at retailers like Papa John’s and Panera Bread by saying their initials to employees at the cash register, according to four people who have been involved in or briefed about it.

Google Wallet has most of the functionality that Apple Pay offers—with the glaring exception of Apple’s security measures—but the platform has been slow to catch on even with more and more NFC terminals popping up thanks to Apple’s initiative.

So how does Google set itself apart? Apparently the Mountain View company began testing a new service last fall called “Plaso” that lets people pay for things by “saying their initials” to employees behind the cash register. It seems as if the system would automatically detect phones compatible with “Plaso,” and users simply say their initials at the register to make sure the correct phone is used for payment.

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Stephen Hall

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