NEC pilots facial recognition payment services

December 12, 2016 - 

NEC Corporation is testing its cashless payment services using NEC facial recognition technology with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Inc. (SMFG), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and Sumitomo Mitsui Card Co., Ltd. (Sumitomo Mitsui Card).

Taking place between December 12, 2016 and January 30, 2017, the SMBC trials involve about 1,000 employees at the dining facilities of SMBC’s head office.

The Sumitomo Mitsui Card trials kicked off on November 21 and will run until January 31, 2017, and involve about 400 employees at the company’s Tokyo head office.

The payments service being tested in these trials uses NEC’s NeoFace facial recognition engine, which verifies the identity of employees by matching their pre-registered facial images against the images captured by cameras in the employee dining facilities.

Payment for items purchased is automatically deducted from employees’ monthly salaries for the next month.

The facial recognition technology does not require the installation of dedicated authentication devices, and ensures that registered facial data is stored in the form of numerical values, making it difficult or impossible for a third party to identify the faces of registered users even if they manage to obtain the data.

In these trials, NEC, SMBC and Sumitomo Mitsui Card aim to verify the recognition performance, employee receptivity to biometric authentication, and operational aspects of the service.

The companies will also work towards gaining experience and know-how, with a view to providing safe and convenient cashless payment services using facial recognition technology at branches in the future.

“Along with these trials, NEC is improving the functionality, reliability and convenience of identity verification in a variety of areas,” said Fumiaki Matsubara, senior vice president of NEC Corporation. “We successfully concluded payment service trials using facial recognition at small shops inside our own head office, and aim to see the commercialization of these services contribute to greater safety and security in communities throughout the world.”

Previously reported, NEC Corporation and NEC Asia Pacific participated at the inaugural Singapore FinTech Festival conference and exhibition being held in mid-November at the Singapore EXPO.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.