A Finnish company claims to be developing an instant checkout system that lets you pay for your groceries with facial recognition.
Near-field communication (NFC) is often hailed as the payment system of the future, but what if you didn't even need a mobile device in your pocket? Well, sure, you could get a subcutaneous RFID chip implanted, but Finnish company Uniqul claims to be working on a payment system that is based solely on facial recognition.
The idea is that you scan your items or pump your petrol, and an installed point-of-sale camera snaps your mug while you do so to access your cloud-based wallet — meaning that all you have to do is hit a button confirming the purchase and be on your merry way, a process that, Uniqul claims, will cut the average transaction time down from 30 seconds to five.
The system consists of a high-definition camera, a hub and a tablet. It connects to existing POS software, sending your payment information in the same way as a card terminal. The company has also designed a Uniqul-specific POS with a second tablet.
As for security, the company said, "We have adopted and improved military-grade identification algorithms to make sure that you are always recognised, but at the same time making sure that no one else gets access to your Uniqul account."
It's not free for users, though; there's a monthly subscription system based on location. Users choose a point that they're most likely to use as a locus for their shopping. For Uniqul terminals within 1 to 2 kilometres of that point, the cost is €0.99. A city-wide subscription is €1.99; a city and surrounding suburbs subscription is €2.99. Finally, global access to Uniqul terminals is €6.99.
All major credit cards can be used to create a Uniqul account.