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Samsung’s facial recognition not ready for mobile payment, insiders say


Sources from Samsung and industry insiders claim that Samsung’s facial recognition technology requires more than four years to be solely used to authenticate mobile payments, according to a report by The Investor.

Samsung announced last month that the Galaxy S8 will feature facial recognition technology, in addition to iris and fingerprint, to deliver improved security for mobile banking and other sensitive applications.

In addition, the technology is expected to be used for Apple’s iPhone 8 which will be released later this year.

An employee at Samsung says the facial recognition technology lacks the maturity to be solely used for activities that require high-level security, such as financial transactions.

“In order for facial recognition to be solely used for financial transactions, it would take more than four years considering the current camera and deep learning technology levels,” a source from Samsung told The Korea Herald.

Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy S8’s facial recognition function is intended only to unlock the device and has a lower security level that that of its iris scanner and fingerprint recognition counterparts.

“We do not need to use facial recognition for mobile financial transactions because there are already high-level biometric technologies such as iris and fingerprint recognition,” said a spokesperson for Samsung. “The question that [SIC] when it will be used is meaningless.”

Meanwhile, Korean card companies including Samsung, KB, Hana and Lotte said they are not currently in talks with Samsung Electronics to use its facial recognition technology for financial transactions.

Experts believe that facial and voice recognition will see greater adoption in the future due to their convenience and universality.

“Facial and voice recognition will also be mainstream in the future alongside iris and fingerprint,” said Jin Seung-heon, chief of Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute’s information protection research unit. “But, it needs more than four to five years for facial recognition to be solely used for financial transactions. For the time being, they will be used as additional certification methods.”

Samsung initially began using fingerprint sensors for Samsung Pay with Galaxy S6 in 2015 before introducing iris scanners for the discontinued Note 7 and Galaxy S8.

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