Users of the new Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones have taken to social media recently complaining about a glitch that is causing Google Pay transactions to fail. According to customer complaints on Reddit and other forums, users who use facial biometrics to unlock their device and try to make a purchase using Google Pay are receiving an error message. If they authenticate using a fingerprint, the transactions are allowed to proceed.
According to several published reports, face unlock on the new devices is the culprit.
When the Pixel 7 Series was unveiled earlier this month, Google rather clearly explained that face unlock only works for the lock screen. According to Android Authority, face unlock on the Pixel 4 series used a 3D mapping approach, while the feature on the new Pixel phones is a Class 1 biometric that relies on the selfie camera and Google’s machine learning technology. As a less secure verification method, Google decided that it would not be appropriate to authenticate payments.
While many Google Pay transactions outside the U.S. do not require the phone to be unlocked, only transit payments fall under that threshold domestically. And for payments, to avoid a confusing error message, users must unlock the device with their fingerprint.