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Japanese financial institutions trial facial recognition for cashless payments

Nayela Deeba | Dec. 15, 2016
With NEC’s NeoFace solution, employees participating in the trial can simply take the items they want at designated areas and payment will be automatically deducted from their next month’s salary.

Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc (SMFG), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and Sumitomo Mitsui Card Co have announced that they will be trialling NEC's facial recognition technology for cashless payments.

The SMBC trials will take place between 12 December 2016 and 30 January 2017, and involve 1,000 employees at the dining facilities.of SMBC's head office

On the other hand, Sumitomo Mitsui Card trials will occur from 21 November 2016 and 31 January 2017, and involve 400 employees at its Tokyo head office.

According to NEC, biometric authentication reduces the risk of fraudulent impersonation and eliminates the need to carry identification cards..

The trials will use NEC's NeoFace facial recognition engine, which will verify an employee's identity by matching his pre-registered facial image against the images taken by cameras at the dining facility. Payment for purchases will be automatically deducted from employees' monthly salaries in the following month..

The advantages of NeoFace is that it doesn't require installation of dedicated authentication devices, and that registered facial data is stored in the form of numerical values, making it difficult for a third party to identify the faces of registered users even in the event that they are able to obtain the data.

NEC,SMBC and Sumitomo Mitsui Card  hope that the trials will test the reliability of the solution and verify employee receptivity to biometric authentication. The financial institutions also aim to gain experience on providing safe, secure, convenient cashless payment services utilising facial recognition technology at branches in the future.

Apart from the trials, NEC is also working towards improving the functionality, reliability and convenience of identity verification for global deployment.

"We successfully concluded payment service trials using facial recognition at small shops inside our own head office, and aim to see the commercialisation of these services contribute to greater safety and security in communities throughout the world," said Fumiaki Matsubara, Senior Vice President, NEC Corporation. 


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