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Japanese city tests face biometric payment solution that works with health masks


A contactless biometric payment system that works with health masks has been deployed as part of a pilot project in Niigata City, Japan.

Based on the BioPay face authentication payment system developed by Glory, the solution is deployed in a “hands-free shopping street” pilot supported by the city’s proof-of-concept support fund. Ten businesses are participating in the project.

According to a blog post on the company’s website, the deployment of the new face biometrics system was spurred by the pandemic, which has “significantly changed consumer behavior”.

To use the contactless biometric payment system shoppers upload a photo of their faces and payment card information to a dedicated site.

Registered users can complete payments by showing their faces to an in-store tablet. Early testing by Mainichi reporters seems to confirm the biometric system is able to authenticate individuals wearing masks in under two seconds.

BioPay face authentication payment service
Source: Glory

Glory claimed all personal information collected as part of the pilot project is securely encrypted.

Moving forward, Niigata City said it is looking at additional cutting-edge technologies to improve customer experience, including integrating the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) into conventional store operations.

As for the contactless biometric payment pilot program, Glory and Niigata City confirmed they are aiming at establishing a “completely unmanned store” in the near future.

Kindai University in Osaka, Japan trialed the Glory contactless payment solution prior to launch last year.

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