A new setting to allow Voice Match to confirm purchases made through the Google Assistant has been spotted in the Assistant’s Payments and Security settings pane. Although we’re not sure it actually does anything just yet, the new toggle claims to offer another method to verify your identity before you pay for goods via the Assistant, and piles of Google’s support documents have been updated to reference it in recent months.
The new “Confirm with Voice Match” setting.
There are a couple different ways to get to the Assistant’s Payments and Security settings pane, where the new setting lives, but the easiest to describe is via the Google app -> More -> Settings -> Google Assistant -> You -> Payments. There, you might see the new “Confirm with Voice Match” option, which is probably disabled by default. Enabling it brings you to a setup screen and additional Google account password confirmation, but that process isn’t working for everyone, with some of our tipsters reporting that it simply hangs interminably rather than advancing through the steps you see just below.
Steps to enable the new setting.
While the setting can be enabled (at least, for some of us), we’re not actually sure that it does anything yet. Although I’ve been able to toggle it on it for myself on a Pixel 3a running a relatively older version of the Google app (v 22.214.171.124), I’ve been unable to coax the Assistant into trying to place any kind of order that might trigger or use the feature. Even Google Shopping (née Google Express) doesn’t seem to work for me right now.
Google has also published what we’re pretty sure is a new support document that describes how to enable or disable the feature. The only example it lists for voice-based payments is “in-action upgrades through Google Play digital goods,” and I have precisely no idea what that means. A previous support document here that made no mention of the feature as of last December has also been updated to include Voice Match as confirmation for purchases, as has this page regarding Voice Match in general, which made no mention of the feature as of March.
While we’re pretty confident the toggle itself is new, it’s possible the functionality it controls is older, perhaps simply separated into its own toggle for the first time — we can’t be sure. However, we can tie at least some of the new documentation regarding the feature to the last few months, and there doesn’t seem to be any corresponding announcement that mentions it. Perhaps the company is planning to renew its push for purchasing goods through the Assistant in the coming days, and it flipped a few switches just a bit too soon.
In the meantime, we’ve reached out to Google for more information regarding the new toggle. Though a response wasn’t immediately forthcoming, we’ll be sure to update our coverage if and when we hear more.
- Anthony Maki,
- Nick Cirpiani