Nets trials face payments in Copenhagen

With the tagline ‘Hungry? Face it’, Nets, provider of digital payment services across Europe, has launched a pilot programme testing facial recognition as a payment method. 

Around 1,000 people – all working at Vibenshuset, an office community of 25 companies in Copenhagen – can sign up to participate in the pilot. By linking their face with their employee ID card, they can now pay for their lunch using their face at Kokkenes Køkken’s cafeteria.

Jesper Kildegaard Poulsen, Head of Creation Lab, Nets, comments: “We are used to bringing something with us each time we need to make a payment – cash, card or a device. But maybe it doesn’t have to be this way. What if you could pay by just showing up?

“Today, we have the technology to use faces as identification and validation when making a payment. However, 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.” 

Although facial-recognition authenticated payments still sound futuristic, the solution being trialled is easy for merchants to install, requiring just a tablet with a pre-installed webcam and app.

Kildegaard Poulsen adds: “Merchants offering self-service solutions would be the most obvious adopters of facial recognition technology. Imagine the solution at a burger bar where you are recognised at the self-service counter and asked: ‘Do you want the same meal as last time, Jesper?’ This is where we see the largest potential.”

The trial at Vibenshuset is not the first time that Nets has piloted technology to understand how people perceive and react to biometric authentication. In April 2018, Nets launched a finger vein payments pilot at Copenhagen Business School, through which more than 22,000 transactions have been completed so far.

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