Nets pilots facial recognition for payments with Danish office workers
Nets, a Nordic-based payment service provider, has launched a pilot to test facial recognition as a payments method with 1,000 Danish office workers.
By linking their face with their employee ID card, workers at Vibenshuset – an office community of 25 Copenhagen-based companies – can sign up to participate in the pilot and pay for their lunch using their face in the on-site cafe.
“We are used to bringing something with us each time we need to make a payment – cash, card or a device,” says Nets creation lab head Jesper Kildegaard Poulsen, “but maybe it doesn’t have to be this way. What if you could pay by just showing up?”
To install the software merchants simply need a pre-installed webcam and app. But whilst it’s easy for shops to implement the biometric payment method, hesitant consumer attitudes towards it may still prove hard to change.
Kildegaard Poulsen notes: “How people feel about having their faces scanned is still under question. This trial will help us to learn more about consumer attitudes to facial recognition payments.”
Whilst face scanning for payments could create a seamless world without passwords or identity cards, many are worried it will also promote mass surveillance and pervade daily life on a scale never seen before.
The creation lab head says merchants offering self-service solutions “would be the most obvious adopters of facial recognition technology”. He uses the example of a burger joint, where a machine would recognise the returning customer and remember their order. “This is where we see the largest potential,” says Kildegaard Poulsen.
Elsewhere in the Nordics, Swedish telecommunication company Telia and Finnish bank OP Financial installed Finnish firm Pivo’s facial recognition technology in an ice cream truck in Vallila, a Helsinki neighbourhood, earlier this year. For a limited time, ice cream buyers were given the opportunity to pay with just their face and using 5G.
In April 2018, Nets also launched a biometric finger vein payments pilot at Copenhagen Business School which has now processed 22,000 transactions.