PayPal uses facial recognition to speed transactions - Mobile World Live

PayPal uses facial recognition to speed transactions

16 NOV 2012

PayPal is to offer a mobile payments service with four retailers in Australia that follows a recent trend in attempting to minimise what shoppers have to do when they come to pay for goods.

Users with PayPal’s app on their smartphone can check-in when they arrive in a store. They then place an order and pay using their PayPal account. However the user does not appear to tap their smartphone, produce a credit card or pay by cash in settling their bill.

This implies payment is taken straight from a PayPal account. Security is provided by the cashier being able to see the name and photo ID of checked-in customers on their point-of-sale terminal.

The process is reminiscent of a service that Square is working on with Starbucks that uses GPS to track a regular user on entering a coffee shop so their name and photo appear on the cashier’s screen.

PayPal does not appear to use GPS technology in its Australian service. But both it and Square have a similar aim to speed up transactions for both retailer and shopper.

The four retailers which PayPal is partnering in Australia are Sonoma Bakery, Mexican restaurant Guzman y Gomez, fashion retailer Glue and Crayons, a speciality education retailer.

PayPal has also started a scheme with 30 shops in Amsterdam which have fixed QR codes in their windows which shoppers can scan when stores are closed. They can find the products displayed on a retailer’s mobile website. A shopper can choose a product from a retailer's website and then make a purchase via PayPal in what is essentially an online purchase. The product will be delivered to the shopper’s home address.

The trial is going on in the De 9 Straatjes (The Nine Streets), a district with upscale shops. PayPal is promoting what it calls the QRoute between participating outlets. Shoppers who participate get their purchases delivered in a gift box within two working days.


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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