Google Tests Voice Matching for Assistant Purchases

A test version is only available for in-app purchases using Google Play.

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Need to Know

  • The new function will help secure purchases made through smart devices, such as speakers.
  • Current security verification methods include fingerprint and facial recognition or a unique PIN.
  • Voice matching feature is currently restricted to purchases made in-app via Google Play.

Analysis

Google has rolled out a test version of a new security function, which allows users to confirm purchases using Google Assistant’s voice recognition software.

The function was spotted by Android Police earlier this week; shortly thereafter a rep from Google confirmed to the site that a pilot version of the new capability has been rolled out to some users.

According to screenshots of the new feature posted by Android Police, Assistant users to whom the security function has been rolled out can simply turn on the option “Confirm purchases with Voice Match” in their device’s Payments and Security tab. Users are cautioned that the technology may not be foolproof: a warning notes that “someone with a similar voice or recording may be able to confirm purchases on devices you’re logged into.”

Current purchase verification options within Assistant include facial and fingerprint recognition. Google’s new Voice Match security option is currently only available for purchases made in-app via Google Play.

Google has been fine-tuning its Voice Match software recently. In April, the technology company updated its software to require four full “Hey Google” and “OK Google” phrases — including, for example, “Ok Google, where is the nearest post office?” — for user verification. Previously, a user was only required to say “Hey Google” and “OK Google.”

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