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Going Cashless. And Cardless

The face payment revolution is here

NEC’s face recognition technology powers a new era of biometric payments

Paying for your weekly groceries and realise that you’ve forgotten your wallet? Fret not. With NEC’s biometric-based payment solution, all you need is your face or fingerprint. No cash, no cards, no phone. It’s that simple.

In partnership with a renowned payments technology company, the newly launched solution is powered by NEC’s face recognition, which has been ranked, time and time again, as the world's most accurate face recognition technology in vendor tests conducted by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). It has also clinched the top spot in 2020 and 2022’s Frost and Sullivan Radar for Biometrics.

What this means for customers is that they can now conveniently enroll into the biometric checkout services, in store or at home, through a simple app, and thereafter use their faces or fingerprints to pay for purchases at any participating merchant. It’s basically the same technology used for unlocking your smartphones using your face or fingerprint – proven to be much more secure and less prone to hacking and identity theft.

Globally, PDF74% of consumers have a positive attitude towards biometric technology, and the market for contactless biometrics technology is projected to new windowreach $18.6 billion by 2026.

Faster checkout times, more efficient loyalty programs, more accurate product recommendations

With biometrics checkout, besides the added convenience and security that customers enjoy, there are multiple benefits for the merchants. Customers no longer need to fumble for their wallets or phones, which means that they would take shorter times at the checkout and shorten the queues. What’s more, their biometric identities can be securely linked to loyalty programs and personalized recommendations to help consumers find products they might be interested in based on previous purchases.

A recent survey of nearly 100 shoppers who set up and enrolled in the Brazil-based pilot showed that 90% were comfortable doing so, and 76% would strongly recommend biometric payments to a friend.

Transforming digital banking with biometrics

Biometrics has been improving the landscape of digital banking and is offering benefits in more areas than touchless checkout. In 2019, E. SUN Commercial Bank in Taiwan became the first bank in the world to introduce face recognition automation ATMs for its customers. Powered by NEC’s face recognition AI engine, E. SUN Bank’s customers can now log in with their faces and a mobile one-time password (OTP) to withdraw money and use the ATM’s services.

Banks have also started to offer online account registration with the help of biometrics. Customers looking to open a new bank account need not visit the bank physically. They only need to send a selfie plus a copy of their identity document, which will be cross-checked before being approved by the bank. This isn’t just convenient for the customers, banks also get to eliminate heavy paperwork and work hours by taking this service online.

According to Siam Commercial Bank in Thailand, it takes just 9 minutes to help customers open bank and securities trading accounts using their biometrics-based eKYC process. All customers need to do at the bank is to submit their ID card for verification, take a face scan through a tablet, and sign their name. Simple.

In Brazil, NEC has been working with customers like Bradesco, BV Bank and Banco Inter to stay on top of their digital journey and improve customer experience utilizing artificial intelligence, innovation and data analysis.

Highlighting the importance of security and identification in the banking process, Milton Rodrigues Junior, Business Director at NEC Brazil said, “Biometrics and facial recognition technologies are already part of the daily life of the financial sector, bringing peace of mind to the account holder, as they are very visible layers. Now, with open banking, new use cases have and will emerge. NEC provides robust and scalable solutions that form part of a complex system of processes, rules, norms, policies that banks have to pursue and comply with, in addition to antivirus systems, antifraud systems, vulnerability analysis system.’’

Protected by the highest security measures

As the global leader behind the world’s most accurate face recognition technology, NEC sees safety and security as top priorities when implementing any programs.

With the 2019 “NEC Group AI and Human Rights Principles”, NEC declares its commitment to the ethical implementation and responsible use of AI, the privacy of users, and the elimination of algorithmic biases and prejudices (such as wrongly identifying certain racial groups as less creditworthy). Internally, NEC incorporates respect for human rights and identity security into every stage of product development — from initial R&D to planning and deployment.

This means that end users of NEC’s face recognition technology are assured that their identities are protected against theft and not misused by third parties, while giving them the autonomy of how much information they would like to share.

In the next few years, the world can expect a biometric revolution in safety and security in online payments, contactless checkouts, and more convenient banking. It’s an exciting space to watch, and NEC will be at the forefront of this transformation.