The Google Assistant has gained a new skill — the ability to donate to charity whenever you ask.
As well as working with the Google Assistant on smartphones, the new feature also works with the Assistant on Google's smart devices, including the Google Home speakers and Home Hub display.
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First, you'll need to make sure Google Assistant Payments has been enabled. To do this, go to the Assistant settings page, then head to the Personal info tab and tap Payments. You can then pick how you want to confirm payments made by speaking to the assistant, such as using a password or fingerprint.
Now, all you need to do is say "Hey Google, donate to charity" or "Okay Google, make a donation." And remember, the phrases "Okay Google" and "Hey Google" are completely interchangeable when getting the assistant's attention.
Next, you will be asked to name the organization you'd like to donate to, then if you'd like to donate the average amount of $10. You can name any charity you like, as long as they can receive donations from Network for Good (NFG), the US nonprofit which handles donations on behalf of Google. You can also ask to change the donation amount to whatever you like.
Alternatively, you can make the process quicker by stating the charity name and amount in your first utterance. For example, you can say: "Hey Google, donate $15 to the Red Cross." You then just need to say "donate now" or "yes" to confirm the transaction.
When donating on a smartphone, you'll be taken to the confirmation page, which states the charity, donation amount, and notes that the payment will be processed by Network for Good, which is legally responsible for the transaction and will appear on your bill.
All of this also works when speaking to a Google Home or Home Hub device, but the payment cannot be made until you confirm it on your smartphone. For now, the system only works in the U.S.
Donations by voice came to Alexa back in April 2018. You can send anything between $5 and $5,000 by speaking to Amazon's voice assistant, and you can set a four-digit PIN to prevent anyone making donations on your behalf. However, no confirmation through the Alexa smartphone app is required.
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