Google Assistant now lets users buy and pay for stuff

Users can now buy items from companies directly via Google Assistant on their mobile device, it has been announced, enabling consumers to, for example, order their favorite meal using simple voice commands and taps. Google's personal assistant works with the company's own payments system, the combination of which handles the ordering and payment process without requiring users to deal with third-party sites. This is made possible via Actions on the Google Platform, which are something akin to competing product Alexa's 'skills,' including support for transactions.

This is a full system, the company revealed, one that takes care of the entire process including making payments and getting receipts. This is thanks to integrations by third-party companies such as Panera, which was demo'd by Google at its conference today. As the company demonstrated, users can, for example, order their lunch from somewhere like Panera by simply telling Google Assistant that they want to place an order.

Google Assistant will pull up the correct company and kick off the ordering process, which includes selecting the delivery address stored by Google, then sorting through the products (in this case, the meals). After choosing the products / meals, the user is presented with the cost, they choose the payment method, and then confirm the order.

Paying / confirming the order is achieved via fingerprint in Google's example — it's not clear how this will work on devices that don't have a fingerprint sensor. There's no installation or account creation process required, according to Google, and there are already more than 70 partners in place that support the ordering and tractions via Google Assistant. Check out the timeline below for more news straight from Google IO 2017!