12 August 2019
Google Pay is a mobile payment solution from Google and meant for Android devices. It makes it easier and convenient to shop online as well as offline without having to carry credit/debit cards all the time. The app was recently updated to Google Pay v2.94 and as per XDA's APK teardown of the same, it seems to be getting ready for two new important features.
The first one is related to supporting facial recognition for authenticating Google Pay transactions. The app currently supports only fingerprint as a biometric authentication method but a couple of code lines suggest it will start offering facial recognition option as well. The particular code string says, "Use biometric authentication, like your face or fingerprint, instead of PIN."
It was only yesterday when Google officially confirmed Pixel 4 will be coming with facial recognition capability. It makes perfect sense that Google would want to use the same facial recognition tech for authenticating Google Pay payments. This is exactly what Apple does by offering Face ID support for payments made via Apple Pay. But it will be interesting to see if Google will expand the facial recognition method to all Android phones with the tech or it will keep it limited to Pixel 4.
Additionally, Google Pay is likely to get native support for SafetyNet checker tool. The main purpose of the tool is to let users know if their device passes all SafetyNet Attestation checks or not. There can be different reasons for failing the tests like unlocking the bootloader, indulging in system-level tampering, and presence of root binaries.
Both these new features have been spotted in a Google Pay APK teardown. It means it is hard to say when exactly these features will be released. But whenever that might happen, we will keep you posted.