Facial Recognition-Based Payment System Trialled

Monday, Oct 19 2015 09:47 PM

Payment card fraud rates have significantly dropped since the advent of chip-and-pin systems but they remain a major issue nonetheless

WorldPay is among those now advancing the next generation of anti-card fraud measures designed to deliver further improvements. The London-based payment processing firm is presently working on a chip-and-pin system with integrated facial recognition technology

Its ‘PED Cam’ (Pin Entry Device Camera) prototype – which is right now undergoing testing - is configured to capture customers’ images upon first use. These images then become part of a main database. For subsequent transactions, a fresh new image is taken and the database is used as a reference point, so the customer’s identity can be verified against the original image.


PED Cam System

According to WorldPay, PED Cam has the potential to substantially lower payment card fraud levels and deliver further benefits besides. As Nick Telford-Reed –its Director of Technology Innovation – explains: "Biometrics has attracted a lot of attention…but 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."


Facial Recognition Card Payments

News of WorldPay’s new facial recognition card payments technology coincides with study data just published by Visa Europe. The payment services provider discovered that around 75 per cent of the UK’s 16-to-24 year-olds would favour more biometrics-styled security procedures being used instead of passcodes, giving speed and ease-of-use as leading factors in their choice.

British civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, though, has its concerns. "Whenever a company thinks of introducing such invasive technology, they must ensure the highest levels of protection are in place to safeguard people from misuse”, Daniel Nesbitt – its research director – states in comments quoted by the BBC, adding: "Our privacy must not be forgotten in the rush to introduce new and potentially innovative ideas."

WorldPay originated in the late 1980s as an electronic payment provider named Streamline. By 1994, it was among the first of a new breed of internet payment services providers. Subsequent years have seen it bought out, expanded, resold and – most recently – announce plans to join the London Stock Exchange.



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