Skip to content
Featured Image

Those who master the art of taking selfies will be glad to hear about this new feature that is been tested and will allow customers to pay with their face

Over the last years we’ve seen how companies have developed innovative payment systems, in order to offer faster and more secure payment methods. Great examples are contactless payment systems and mobile payment.

But we are about to witness how another payment method is added to the options already available. Facial recognition payment systems are being tested by several companies in order to improve, speed up and protect the payment experience. And what can be more personalize than paying with your face?

One of the companies testing this technology is Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce company that provides C2C, B2C and B2B sales services via web portals.

Jack Ma Monday, founder and chief executive of Alibaba, showcased its new payment method at the annual CeBit tech exhibition, held in Hanover, Germany. “Smile to pay” is an app that validates mobile payments by matching a photo taken by the user at the point of purchase to a stored profile photo. Ma said Smile to Pay will be lunched in China first and later in other countries.

Another company that has developed a similar technology is the Finnish tech firm called Uniqul, which uses “military-grade” facial recognition algorithms to identify shoppers while their goods are being scanned at the counter. At the end of the transaction, the shopper will need to press OK on a screen in order to confirm the purchase.

According to Uniqul CEO, Ruslan Pisarenko, the software will be tested in selected cafes in the capital region during 2015.

But tech companies are not the only ones venturing into developing this type of technology, First Tech announced earlier this year a pilot program with MasterCard that will enable First Tech employees to authenticate and verify transactions using “Selfie pay”.

This technology integrates biometrics into the payment experience and allows customers to choose their fingerprint or face for authentication of their purchases. And to guarantee a secure transaction, the app requires you to blink.

Although these technologies are still in testing, facial recognition payment systems seems to be the next step in convenience and secure payments, facilitating the purchase process for those who find it hard to memorize passwords and usernames.