The Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are among the best Android phones you can buy right now. Google has addressed many of the issues that plagued the previous generation of Pixels with the Pixel 7 series, but the phones aren’t perfect. Tests indicate that the screen drains an obscene amount of power at high brightness levels, with some users reporting scrolling issues. Pixel 7 users also have to deal with Google
Wallet Payment transactions fail without any explicit error message. It turns out that this has to do with how face unlock works on the new Pixels.
When the big G unveiled the Pixel 7 series in early October, it made it clear that face unlock is only for the lock screen. The feature does not pass the necessary biometric threshold to unlock apps such as password managers or authenticate mobile payments. So what does this have to do with failed Google Pay transactions on the Pixel 7? Your new Pixel will automatically decline any contactless transaction if you use Face Unlock for biometric authentication. After the card is declined, Google Pay will ask you to use the fingerprint scanner to unlock your phone and try again.
If the phone is unlocked using the fingerprint sensor, you can press it against an NFC payment terminal and the transaction will go through Google Pay without any problems.
Our Google editor, Manuel Vonau, tested contactless payment on the Pixel 7 in Germany, and the transaction went smoothly. This was because the payment amount was below the contactless limit. However, in the US, Google Pay requires your phone to be unlocked for all transactions except transportation.
The problem here is that Google simply declines payment transactions when the Pixel 7 is unlocked with face unlock without displaying an appropriate error message or asking users to enter the PIN. Most users will have an idea why contactless Google Pay transactions fail on their phone. We noticed a similar behavior every time Smart Lock automatically unlocked the Pixel 7 and we tried to pay.
At the moment, there’s not much you can do here, except unlock the Pixel 7 using the fingerprint scanner before making an NFC-based payment. When the issue comes into the media spotlight, Google should address it sooner rather than later.