PayPal Unveils Facial Verification for In-Store Payments (Aug. 12, 2013)
Aug. 12, 2013
Shoppers in the London borough of Richmond now can use their photos to verify their identity when making in-store purchases with PayPal’s mobile app. A new pilot in the company’s U.K. home base enables a user to find nearby shops and restaurants that accept PayPal, then check in by clicking on the desired merchant and entering a PIN onto his mobile device. Once inside the store, the customer’s name and photo appears on the store’s payment system. To make a purchase, the customer gives his name and the clerk clicks the photo to complete the transaction. The customer then receives an alert on his phone with the amount paid and receipt. Payments can be linked to a PayPal account or directly to a customer’s bank account. Thus far, a dozen local merchants have signed onto the pilot, but PayPal projects more than 2,000 U.K. retail locations will be able to use the app by the end of this year.
The pilot is the latest move in PayPal’s efforts to blur the lines between online and in-store shopping. The company launched another local retail pilot last November in Amsterdam’s popular 9 Streets shopping area that features QR codes affixed to store windows that customers can scan to make purchases with their mobile phones. The company also has made larger-scale moves into brick-and-mortar retail, including last year’s in-store payment deals with Discover and more than a dozen retailers, as well as the December unveiling of its My Cash Card, which enables users to fund their accounts via cash at 30,000 retail locations in the U.S.