Customers of Japan’s Sumitomo bank may soon be able to pay with their faces. NEC Corporation has announced that it has teamed up with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), and Sumitomo Mitsui Card to trial contactless payment systems based on facial recognition over the coming weeks.
One trial has already started, with Sumitomo Mitsui Card testing the technology with 400 employees at its head office in Tokyo; launched on November 21st, that trial should conclude at the end of January. And starting today, a thousand employees at SMBC’s head office will test the system at its dining facilities until January 30th. Employees are able to make purchases without any special hardware, with the system identifying their facial biometrics and debiting from their monthly salaries automatically.
SMFG’s interest in face-based payments first came to light this past August, with the company reportedly aiming to test the technology with retail partners in 2017. And in September, the company also recently delved into a contract with Daon and NTT Data Corporation to develop multimodal biometric authentication solutions to be launched next spring. As banks around the world embrace biometric solutions, SMFG clearly aims to be at the technological forefront.
December 12, 2016 – by Alex Perala