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NEC, Hitachi biometrics planned for payments, hospitality check-in in Japan

NEC, Hitachi biometrics planned for payments, hospitality check-in in Japan

NEC has partnered with Osaka Metro to bring face biometrics-powered payments to retail stores, starting with a pop-up shop it operates, Sora News reports.

The new payment system relies on NEC’s I:Delight system, which also enables authentication of individuals wearing a mask by combining face and iris biometrics.

The technology is currently being trialed at the pop-up store Metro Opus Umeda, with different types of food being offered over three weeks, until the end of April.

Sora News confirmed human staff will be present on-site to serve customers, but payments can be made just by looking at a tablet located in-store.

The shop will be reportedly open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., but a vending machine offering the same biometric technologies will also be set up outside the store.

According to Osaka Metro, the machine will also use the data to learn about consumer habits, including what products are bought by different ages and genders as determined by artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms.

However, signing up for the service only requires an email, a face photo, and credit card information (including pre-paid ones). Osaka Metro also clarified no personal information is used or stored with purchase data and all photos are deleted once the analysis is complete.

Hitachi finger-vein biometrics built into hospitality solution

A biometric authentication system for carrying out hotel check-ins and in-shop payments without using a payment card or smartphone has been developed by Hitachi and reported by Nikkei.

The system only requires individuals to register their finger vein biometrics and other personal information in advance, then simply pay by placing their finger over a scanner, which Hitachi says cuts transaction times by 40 seconds or more.

According to Nikkei, the biometric solution will be able to store additional types of information, including proof of age, vaccination records, loyalty points, food allergies, and professional qualifications, on a blockchain.

The new ID system will also be to search for individuals’ records with public offices and other places and utilize it to complete transactions.

Hitachi is aiming for 10 billion yen ($81 million) in revenue through fees and sales of its vein biometrics scanners in the next three years.

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