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SoftBank-owned JCV offers SenseTime face biometrics for payments to Visa, Mastercard

SoftBank-owned JCV offers SenseTime face biometrics for payments to Visa, Mastercard

SoftBank-owned firm Japan Computer Vision Corp (JCV) is offering its face biometric technologies for authenticating payment, backed by SenseTime, to Visa and Mastercard, a new analysis by Reuters suggests. SenseTime is currently blacklisted in the U.S.

According to the outlet, JCV’s expansion could create a precedent for SoftBank to establish further partnerships with the wider industry via portfolio companies.

At the same time, the JCV’s partnership with SenseTime has been frowned upon by privacy advocates, since the Chinese firm is blacklisted by the United States over human rights concerns.

Talking to Reuters, JCV clarified SenseTime is simply a technology partner and, as such, has no access to Mastercard’s and Visa’s systems or data.

The company also explained its technology is audited by a third-party Israeli cybersecurity startup called CYE, which regularly runs checks for risk of data leakage, as well as giving users the choice to opt in and out from pay-by-face systems at any point.

Further, Mastercard said all of its biometric-checkout program partners must follow EU standards of data protection, and Visa told Reuters it is currently working on defining the use of biometrics in payments.

For context, Mastercard and Visa are not the first companies JCV has partnered with in its expansion within the frictionless retail market segment.

In November last year, as part of a collaboration with PopID, JCV deployed the biometric firm’s face-recognition-based ordering and payment system PopPay in two WFK locations in Tokyo. 

A month later, JCV unveiled its first collaboration with SenseTime, which focused on the deployment of pandemic-related access control systems at restaurants, gyms, and offices in Japan.

Mastercard itself has launched a global platform for biometric payments and is in the process of piloting technologies regionally, such as with Payface in Brazil.

Sensetime stock has not recovered since its 30 June fall from HK$5.86 to $3.25 after the end of a lock-in period for pre-IPO shares. It has slid to HK$2.58 (US$0.33) at the time of publishing, below the $3.85 December 2021 IPO price.

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