Aug. 19 - Scrambling for credit cards or mobile phones at the checkout counter could become a thing of the past as a Finnish company readies to launch the world's first face recognition payment system. Tara Cleary reports.
This is the future of shopping as imagined by Finnish company Uniqul … no more credit cards, tablets, or unnecessary delays. The firm is in the final stages of developing a payment system that uses facial recognition software to link customers with their bank account. Chief development officer, Ruslan Pisarenko says this level of automation makes Uniqul unrivaled for convenience. SOUNDBITE: UNIQUL'S CHIEF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT OFFICER RUSLAN PISARENKO SAYING (English): "You don't really have to do any actions to be recognised. The system is recognising you if you are a registered user." For a fee, Uniqul customers set up an account using a credit card. Cameras at checkout counters will track clients before they get to the cash register - and once they arrive to pay, all they need to do is sign their name. The cameras and software have already done the rest. But though all that data-gathering may seem intrusive, Pisarenko insists his system is secure and only involves account holders. SOUNDBITE: UNIQUL'S CHIEF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT OFFICER RUSLAN PISARENKO SAYING (English): "If you're not on the data base it's not storing any information. Fundamentally, face recognition technology is able to verify that you are not wearing a mask, it is a live face, that you are a human, that this face is not printed on a 3D printer." Pisarenko believes Uniqul's technology will be tamper-proof within 20 years and it won't only be useful for shopping - but also at airport check-ins, for example. The company starts trials in a few months - introducing consumers to what Pisarenko hopes will become the new face of shopping.