NEC employees trial facial recognition for payments

Employees at NEC Corporation’s head office in Tokyo are trialling the use of facial recognition to authenticate purchases made in small shops inside the building. The trial began in June 2016 and will run until August as part of NEC’s efforts to “apply its biometrics authentication technologies to a range of services including cashless payment”.

NEC“This payment service uses NeoFace facial recognition technologies featuring NEC’s facial recognition algorithm,” NEC says. “This enables identity verification by matching employees’ pre-registered facial images against the images taken by a camera that is installed near a point of sale terminal at the checkout counter inside a shop.

“With the introduction of this technology, retailers can provide shoppers with payment services without using cash or credit cards.”

“During this trial, NEC analyzes authentication performance and operational workload under a wide range of conditions inside the shops, including the types of cameras in use, installation position, lighting, balance between security and convenience and others,” the company adds.

“This trial will enable us to improve technological performance and to accumulate knowledge towards the commercialisation of facial authentication-based payment services,” says Fumiaki Matsubara, senior vice president of NEC.

NEC also launched a large-scale trial of its Walkthrough Facial Recognition System in April this year at the same head office. This biometrics authentication system is capable of recognising people in motion using facial recognition technology without the need for the employee to stop in front of a camera.

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