Finnish firm trials face payments
19 September 2018 17:01 GMT

OP Financial Group has reported that its employees will be the first in Finland to trial facial recognition payments at the firm’s staff restaurant in OP’s premises in Vallila, Helsinki in conjunction with Visa.

Facial recognition payments are based on biometric identification. The technology compares the customer’s face to a face map captured on camera. After the customer’s face has been identified, the payment itself is simple: no mobile phone, payment card, cash or other traditional payment method will be needed. This makes paying quick and easy. 

"Facial recognition payments aren’t really being used in Finland or even in the Western world, but at OP we believe in its ease of use and reliability. We are conducting the trial to better understand how the technology could be applied going forward", says Harri Nummela, OP Executive Vice President, Banking, Private and SME customers. 

"In China, the technology is used to identify customer loyalty benefits and in access control. We can also see broader opportunities for application. As the technology is new, it is important to collect feedback on any fears and apprehensions users may have. Based on what we learn, we will then be able to take the right next steps in development", says Kristian Luoma, Head of OP Lab. 

The users participating in the pilot can currently use facial recognition when paying for lunch. 

"The initial feedback has been very encouraging. The employees have been surprised how convenient the method is and how smoothly the new checkout works. Unlike with, say, mobile payments, customers don’t have to get their wallet or smartphone out to complete the transaction. Through the pilot, we can assess when the technology could be ready for rollout to the general public", says Nummela.