The day is not far when your face will replace your credit card or UPI payments. You no longer have to carry your wallet to supermarkets and malls. Just look at the camera and your payment is done! If this sounds like a utopian dream, fear not; it is soon to become reality! Read on to learn more.
Digital payments are constantly evolving with AI based developments. The current Covid-19 situation has encouraged techies to innovate a touch-free payment system to adapt to this. We already have Wi-Fi enabled credit and debit cards for faster payments but face-recognition is expected to sweep them all. Consumers will no longer be required to swipe or tap a card, or input PIN numbers to complete a transaction.
How Does Face-Recognition Work?
This technology is still in its nascent state and much work needs to be put in to make it secure for all users. As per available information, merchants will use a transaction machine that will scan the buyer’s face; something similar to the face recognition technology we have on smartphones. Your payment service provider will already have your face recognition data registered on their database, which will be verified and your payment shall be processed.
Facial recognition software uses certain specifications unique to the user’s facial dimension, like the length and width of the nose, shape of your eyes, or even the depth of your cheekbones, to ID your face.
Similar to your fingerprint, you will soon be required to register your facial data with your bank or payment service provider. You can register their facial data using a selfie camera and linking it with your bank account, credit or debit card. And you can soon forget about carrying hefty wallets and remembering the PIN numbers for all your cards. Your face can now complete a transaction with ease.
How Safe Is This Technology?
When scammers are swindling crores of rupees from credit cards and debit cards that require OTP and other two-factor authorizations, how easy will it be for them to misuse facial recognition? Yes, these concerns have already been raised and the companies assure that this is a foolproof method.
With cards or online transactions, there is no way to confirm that the presenter is the authenticated user. But with facial recognition, the merchant can verify that the buyer is the account holder and that reduces fraud to a great extent. They also deliberate that duplicating the facial print of a user will prove to be much more expensive than stealing their card details or passwords.
How Soon Can We Expect Facial Recognition To Take Over The Digital Payments Market?
In India, facial recognition transaction terminals called VisionLabs LUNA POS Terminal are in the experimental stage. The company behind this technology, VisionLabs, a Dutch organization, are the pioneers in this biometric payment technology.
Speaking about this technology, Anton Nazarking, the company’s Director of Global Business Development, says, “We introduced our first generation LUNA POS without credit card support in 2019 to simply try out the pay per face process. It quickly became clear that the adoption rate of this technology exceeded our expectations: we achieved a conversion rate of over 40% to cope with payments between different types of large national banks and retailers”.
When asked about the security aspect of this technology, Anton says, “This is a common belief among some industry experts, but one that is incorrect for a simple reason: With contactless card payments, there is no way to ensure that the person presenting a card is the real one. card holder. On the contrary, with facial recognition payments, the actual identity of the payer is confirmed in real time”. The company has also reiterated that they don’t store any of the facial print data. Facial scanning on the POS terminal is also done only after consent from the customer.
Benefits Of Switching Over To Facial Recognition
Digital payment service providers have popularized contactless payments to a great extent during this corona pandemic. UPI payments have seen a huge surge in rural and semi-urban areas, which indicates that digital payments have permeated the grass-root level of consumers.
The major benefit of facial recognition would be the speed at which transactions can be completed. Be it supermarkets or restaurants, establishments that see a huge customer visits on a daily basis, can use facial recognition software to offer quick and contactless payment options to their customers. Consider going to the supermarket and not using your phone or credit card to pay. You merely have to glance into a camera, verify your identity, and then complete the transaction. This may sound like something from a science fiction novel or film, but it is already a reality in many countries.
The word of digital payments is fast evolving and consumers are forced to adapt to new technologies without proper orientation. There are still many consumers who pay hard cash for their purchases; there is nothing wrong in that. You don’t have to switch over to this new technology just because it is what everyone is doing. Observe how it works on the whole, consider the security aspects, and then cross over, only if it suits your needs.