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Preciate plans biometric retail payments expansion after pandemic delay

Partnerships and kiosks launch on three continents

biometric facial recognition

From the ambitions of a startup based in Israel to a partnership for smartphone-based biometric payments in Russia, retail payment biometrics appear to be on the verge of significant market growth. An integration of Datasea biometrics for POS payments and kiosks with age verification for regulated goods are also being launched in China and the U.S., respectively.

Face biometrics startup Preciate had deployed its biometric retail payment system in several U.S. and Israeli stores prior to the onset of the pandemic, and was about to launch a deployment with Isreali clothing chain Fox until its plans were disrupted, CTech reports.

The Pay by Face system relies on a biometric comparison of a registered selfie with an image taken at checkout.

With the onset of the pandemic, fast food stores in Israel have become a market for Preciate’s biometric kiosks, enabling them to accept payments for take-out service from outside of the restaurant. The company’s founders say theirs is the only kiosk that enables self-service payments without touching the screen. Preciate charges its clients monthly fees based on how many kiosks they use, and currently has eight employees.

The company has raised $5 million from private investors, including Co-founder Avi Naor, who also brought the facial recognition capability from another company he was previously associated with in the security sector, according to CTech. Another funding round is expected in 2021.

Naor and Preciate Co-founder and CEO Eyal Fisher suggest that big retailers have yet to figure out how to leverage the data they have on customers, which is often utilized effectively in the online environment, for in-store service.

At a quartet of restaurants using Pay by Face in Azrieli Holon Business Park, facial recognition is used for payments by 70 to 80 people daily.

As the pandemic recedes, the entrepreneurs intend to tackle the U.S. market again.

UnionPay and Huawei partnership will support biometric payments in Russia

UnionPay International has partnered with Solidarnost Bank and Huawei to enable Huawei and Honor smartphone users in Russia to make contactless payments secured with either password or fingerprint biometric authentication.

The tie-up brings UnionPay Mobile QuickPass with Huawei Pay to Solidarnost Bank UnionPay cardholders. Solidarnost Bank is the fourth to launch Huawei Pay with UPI.

Russia is among the countries with the highest number of contactless transactions, according to the announcement.

Zhejiang Kecai to provide biometric retail payment technology from Datasea

Datasea Inc. has reached a deal to provide services for consumer payments with code-scanning and facial recognition to Zhejiang Kecai Technology Transformation Services Ltd. for integration with point-of-sale systems in brick-and-mortar stores.

Zhejiang Kecai will sell solutions including the services, for which Datasea will provide hardware, maintenance and software, and collect 25 percent of the value of the transactions. Zhejiang Kecai estimates the annual transaction value will be RMB 250 million (approximately US$38 million), which Datasea says would give it an annual earning potential of RMB 625,000 (approximately US$95,630) for each of the five years of the agreement.

“At Datasea, our goal is to create a frictionless, satisfying technology experience for customers,” says Zhixin Liu, CEO of Datasea. “We’re pleased to partner with Zhejiang Kecai and provide our smart consumptive payment services to more clients. The smart consumptive payment services will also improve our data acquisition and support Datasea’s smart information service system.”

RAC launches biometric kiosks

Retail Automated Concepts (RAC) has developed a kiosk with face biometrics capabilities to perform age verification for regulated products like CBD and marijuana, reports Vending Times.

The kiosks can store up to 188 products, and performs three age checks. The first is a question posed through the kiosk’s touchscreen, the second is a driver’s license scan, and the third is a facial recognition comparison.

The touchscreen also enables customers to select email receipts, and the kiosk includes an RFID tag-based anti-shrinkage system.

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