Friday 09 December 2022

TECHNOLOGY – Finnish coffee lovers to pay with their faces

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Coffee lovers at cafes in Helsinki will soon be able to pay for their drinks with their faces, according to a technology firm.

Finland-based Uniqul Oy said Tuesday that the world’s first facial recognition payment system would be tested in selected cafe-goers in the Finnish capital starting early in 2015.

CEO Oscar Tuutti told Finnish public service media Yle: “The preliminary testing of the system is almost done, and it will be available for use early next year.”

The system designed by Uniqul Oy, which describes itself as a leading provider of facial recognition payment systems, allows customers to pay their bills with their faces, literally. “We believe that we have developed the most secure and convenient payment system available and we have managed this while also bringing down the transaction time from an average of 30 seconds to less than five,” Tuutti said.

Simple procedureCompany spokesman Ruslan Pisarenko told Anadolu Agency that further tests were ongoing.

“Currently, we are doing several closed-door tests in a few businesses in the Helsinki region to finalize the system. We are preparing a beta release, but I cannot provide any details at the moment,” he said.

In order to be recognized, users have to sign up at special points called QStands, which will be installed in the selected cafes, in order to combine their facial photo with details of basic payment methods, such as a credit card.

“We have developed a very simple registration procedure to obtain a high-quality face image of the user, so that he can be effectively recognized within the network,” Pisarenko said.
According to Uniqul, the program is developed with improved military grade identification algorithms to generate maximum security and efficiency.

To pay, the customer just needs to press a button marked “OK.”

User friendlyA camera used by the application can identify the buyer from a range of up to four meters and does not require eye recognition.

The system is designed to be easily embeddable in any retail environment, the simplest unit being a high-definition camera, a hub and a tablet.

Apart from the Helsinki cafes, an unnamed overseas retail chain has also expressed interest in the system.

The application was ready for launch earlier this year, but the project was delayed due to the company wanting to make the software as user-friendly as possible, Uniqul says.

Uniqul works with many existing providers, such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners club and other card providers, as well as PayPal and Square.

QStand uses a combination of standard devices such as a personal computer, tablet and camera.

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