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Google Wallet ‘verify it’s you’ request appears a few minutes after phone unlock

1 month ago 63

Users have noticed in recent weeks that Google is requiring device unlocks for every tap-to-pay transaction regardless of the amount. At the same time, Google Wallet appears to be testing a second change related to more frequent verification.

Officially, Google says “your credit and debit card won’t be charged for retail payments unless you’ve recently used a verification method, like your fingerprint or PIN.” 

While the support documents don’t specify the exact duration of “recently,” people — myself included — have noticed it get shorter. 

To give an example: When I’m in line at the supermarket, I unlock and use my phone until I get to the register. Usually, the phone is still active (screen on) when it’s time to pay. This week, when I tapped the terminal, my Pixel 8 asked me to authenticate again. In the past, I’ve never had to verify during this specific tap-to-pay situation.

Since then, I’ve found that three minutes after initially unlocking via fingerprint, Google Wallet wants me to re-authenticate. 

In fact, in testing with a timer, I’ve noticed a new “For your security, you need to verify it’s you before paying” prompt at the top of the Google Wallet app. This is only appearing on that Pixel 8 where I encountered the change. 

The message did not appear on two other Pixel phones that I had side-by-side during the at-home tests — unlock phone via fingerprint, keep the screen active, and open/close Google Wallet at 1, 2, and 3-minute intervals until the “verify it’s you” prompt appears — I’ve performed.

This suggests Google is either still testing this behavior or has yet to widely roll it out.

For comparison, Apple Pay on the iPhone requires that you authenticate every tap-to-pay transaction. Android and Google Wallet is moving closer in that direction, but is still providing more leeway.

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