In the UK, WorldPay has begun testing use of facial recognition technology to help combat card fraud at the physical point-of-sale (POS). The prototype ‘PED Cam’ (Pin Entry Device Camera) uses an upward-facing camera, embedded into a standard POS terminal to take a picture of the consumer whenever they enter their PIN. Over time, the facial recognition software learns the profile of the user and can detect whether the card is being used by the normal cardholder and not a criminal.
Commenting on the technology, Nick Telford-Reed, Worldpay’s director of technology innovation said,
“Biometrics has attracted a lot of attention, but achieving sufficient scale has always been difficult in a face-to-face environment. It’s partly because of cost, but also because people don’t want the admin hassle of registering their details. With this prototype we would remove that hassle. Card users could be automatically enrolled in the system when they use their card. The design also means retailers would not have to find space for another device on their already busy sales counters.”
While the potential applications of biometrics in payments are clear, concerns over consumer privacy have led to slow adoption of similar biometric technology. But with new solutions like Apple Pay and others showing the ease of use and added security benefits of biometrics, the consumer use of these technologies will only grow exponentially in the years ahead.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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