One of the first commercially available, GDPR compliant, biometric facial authentication payment systems in Europe.
A few months back, the Romanian start-up PayByFace launched its innovative contactless payment system, validated by the National Bank of Romania and few other commercial partner banks. Their secured face authentication is accessible to people shopping in Bucharest who want to pay for a service or products solely using their face, without the need of a smartphone, card, or cash.
Facial recognition-based payment technology improves the shopping experience and speeds up the checkout process making it both a more convenient and safer no/low touch of the in-store payment terminal.
„After three years of development, PayByFace is even more relevant in today’s Covid-19 context enabling friendly safe distance and less physical contact,” states Mike Draghici, company CEO. “We have released in December the user authentication even if people are wearing face masks, maintaining our commitment for convenience in high standards of security and GDPR compliance.”
After successfully integrating with Euplatesc, a Romanian online card payment processing company, PayByFace SRL has launched its biometric facial authentication-based payment system in Tucano Coffee and Creamier shops and few pharmacies in Bucharest. Last month, PayByFace Romania team added Ted’s Coffee shop group with 16 locations in Bucharest and 22 more in Romania’s main cities.
In December, Geta Voinea will immerse clients’ new-look into experiencing biometric payments for their hair salons services. Thirteen national dental clinic locations Dr Leahu will provide clients the option to validate payments with PayByFace just by using their faces. Optical Ofta Civique brings PayByFace to Brasov for payments, loyalty and for its innovative Virtual TryOn feature, embracing a whole level of client experience. 15 locations currently accept PayByFace out of 67 total signed merchants in Romania which will be installed in the coming weeks.
„We are aware that such innovations that simplify dramatically the way we both shop and interact at the checkout take time for massive user adoption. Our focus was to bring the solution in high-traffic and high-standard locations to nourish smart people’s curiosity while satisfying their convenience & security needs. PayByFace aims to learn from the Romanian user experience, adapt and scale globally,” continues Mike.
“I am confident that having Raiffeisen bank and upRomania as strategic partners PayByFace will boost even more the App adoption to the existing over 750.000 users of the prepaid cards. Romanian merchants seem excited to embrace and innovate the way they interact with their shoppers for payments, loyalty programs, and even in-store advertising, with PayByFace complete platform. We shall continue to support them go through this difficult period”.
How it works
To use PayByFace, users may download PayByFace Consumer app (available on both Android in Google Play and iPhone in the App Store), and register personal details, card and selfie profiles.
Once the end-users have finalized the registration process, they can make payments in any merchant partner store visible in the user mobile app map. To increase the security of the transactions, PayByFace has built unique feature so that encrypted user data is only available in a 20km area. Usage of a PIN becomes mandatory for payments beyond the legally acceptable level.
A configured iPad, with PayByFace Merchant App installed at the cashier desk, uses its camera to convert the face image into a biometric data string. Search for a match with existing PayByFace accounts available in the local network database is processed in less than 1 sec. If there is a match, the system proceeds to process the payment through euplatesc.ro gateway using the available customer’s tokenized card on file.
The whole checkout process takes as little as 4 seconds vs a minimum 10 sec with any other payment method today. Once the payment is successfully processed, a digital receipt is sent over email and available in the app to the client and the partner merchant.
Here is a video of how PayByFace facial authentication facilitates payments at the check-out:
PayByFace SRL is founded on the back of more than three years of software development and customer discovery work carried out by its CEO and founder, Mihai Draghici. The lead team is internationally based in Amsterdam, Paris, Zurich, Geneva, and Bucharest; three core members have Romanian origin.
After graduating Startupbootcamp in Amsterdam, one of the more reputable European accelerators, and Visa Innovation Program in Bulgaria, several pilot projects with banks across continents and major investors’ interest have emerged. Proof of Concept projects proposals in partnership with Raiffeisen bank and local gateways integrations, euplatesc.ro for Romania, and UPC for Bulgaria.
PayByFace decided mid 2020 to allocate full resources for the initial roll out to market in Romania. In 2021, based on existing advanced negotiations with local market players like Diebold, Concardis, and Adyen, the PayByFace solution will become available in the Netherlands and Switzerland.
PayByFace is GDPR compliant and enables users to fully control their data, digital presence, and past payments. PayByFace platform does not store customers’ photos but converts them into biometric data strings and encrypts them for added security.
„Tendinţele pe care le-am remarcat înainte de începerea pandemiei s-au accelerat pe perioada stării de urgenţă. Am văzut acest lucru ca o oportunitate, un tipping point pentru bancă. Post-pandemie nu avem cum sa ne întoarcem la comportamentul financiar pe care îl aveam până în februarie a.c. Relaţia românilor cu online-ul s-a schimbat. In plus, cardul fizic se va dematerializa. Vom asista la o scădere a cererii pentru cardurile fizice, respectiv la o creştere a preferinţei pentru componenta digitală a acestora.”