Finland company launches facial recognition payment system
Uniqul, a new company from Finland, has developed what it says is the world’s first facial recognition payment system. In order to use the system, users must pre-register with Uniqul, to tie their face information to a credit card.
As customers approach the checkout, a camera picks them up and „military grade algorithms” identify them. A payment is pre-authorised using a card linked to the customer’s Uniqul account and confirmed by pressing an ‘OK’ button on a tablet.
The system is still in the early development stages and retailers have not yet been approached with a working demo model, CEO Oscar Tuutti tells Finextra.
Currently, the technology has a 96% recognition rate, meaning that the remaining four per cent would have to enter a PIN to complete any transaction. Tuutti claims that the success rate should hit 99.6% by the autumn.
Uniqul will charge users a monthly fee, which will vary depending on where they want to use it. For EUR0.99, people will be able to use the system at participating retailers within a designated 1-2 km radius, for EUR1.99 a month, they can use it city-wide, and for EUR6.99 worldwide.
“Imagine going in to a kiosk, picking up a newspaper at the cashier, clicking “Ok” on a Uniqul tablet and walking away. Imagine a day at the beach when you don’t have to think about where to store your wallet during your swims. Imagine a new form of payments”, according to the the company’s press release.
Click here for download – the Unique official press release
“We have written and improved our program so that it can perform everything in the blink of an eye. We have developed an user friendly interface and made the system easy to use. All of this comes down to a user experience which consists of a user merely clicking “Ok” on our tablet. In the background our algorithms are processing your biometrical data to find your account in our database as you are approaching the cashier. The whole transaction will be done in less than 5 seconds – the time it usually takes you to pull out your wallet”, company says.
The company’s payment solution is still in development, and will soon be deployed in the Helsinki area. “We are finalizing our product and getting ready for deployment in the Helsinki area” according to the press release.
Uniqul is not the first to make a move into face payments – Dutch firm Adyen unveiled an application that let people pay with a smile and a ‘thumbs up’ sign last year, albeit on 1 April.
Reported previously, a separate research report published last month found that 1 in 2 people would prefer biometric payment options, far outweighing the popularity of other emerging options.
As a biometric modality, facial recognition is becoming an extremely popular choice and public adoption is growing.In fact, according to a recently-published research report, the global facial recognition market is estimated to grow from $1.92 billion in 2013 to $6.5 billion in 2018, at an impressive CAGR of 27.7%.
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