PayPal is testing its new face verification technology in a dozen London retail stores which allows customers to pay using an app on their phone. Through the app, which is available on iOS, Android and Windows phones, the customer can ‘check in’ to a store (much like a Facebook check in) which brings up the user’s name and picture on the merchant’s payment system and allows the merchant to initiate the payment.
If successful, PayPal will roll out the technology on a larger scale, possibly to 2,000 merchants in the UK by the end of the year. The technology has the potential to make wallets outdated as customers need only a PayPal account linked to their bank account and a smartphone, no cards.
The app will also allow customers to search for which retailers have the technology, while merchants also have the option of displaying a PayPal insignia on their storefront.
It is possible that difficulties may arise if a person does not look like their headshot or if two people look similar and the protocol for what will happen in such situations is still unclear. There is also no information or when the technology will make its way outside the UK.
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