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Face biometrics for payments advancing in Japan

Face biometrics for payments advancing in Japan

A facial recognition payment project in Japan that began in a regulatory sandbox at least three years ago has blossomed into a consortium of dozens of companies interested in deploying biometric fintech.

Thirty-one companies from a variety of industries in Japan have formed a group to consider optimal legal and regulatory frameworks for systems that allow consumers to pay for products and services by looking into a camera. Users will register their face biometrics through a website to use the system.

A similar but limited version of face-as-debit-card system has been piloted for public transportation in Russia last August.

Resona Holdings, a financial services company in Japan, is one of several sizable organizations leading the consortium. Dai Nippon Printing, consumer credit firm JCB Co. and Panasonic System Solutions Japan have joined Resona in creating the brain trust.

In 2018, Dai Nippon Printing and West Japan City Bank, were invited by a state regulator, the Japan Financial Services Agency (FSA), to join a fintech regulatory sandbox. The proof-of-concept hub, as it was called, pushed around the viability of ID verification using face biometrics for Japanese banks.

It was a three-month so-called study group, and reports of results are hard to come by. The consortium might be one. It is not immediately known if West Japan City Bank is among the new consortium.

At about the same time, Resona Holdings was in a related sandbox turning thoughts about what voice recognition could be used in compliance inspection systems into a proof-of-concept.

The company reportedly will test its face biometrics system in its headquarters and bank branches beginning this month.

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