Finnish company Uniqul has found a way to connect shoppers and their bank accounts without the need for plastic of any kind: Its system, which it plans to roll out to select businesses soon, will enable customers (who have preregistered with a major credit card) to pay for their purchases simply by having their picture taken. Facial recognition software then analyzes the image and links it to the account, after which the customer only needs to confirm the purchase by pressing OK. A promotional video describes possible scenarios, including grocery shopping, filling up the gas tank, and checking in at the airport.
What’s the Big Idea?
It’s hard to deny the appeal of leaving cash and credit cards at home in exchange for a readily-available and somewhat difficult-to-steal alternative. Uniqul claims it uses military-quality algorithms for security, but in case participating customers aren’t willing to have their picture taken everywhere they go, a sliding monthly fee scale is available: Seven euros means the system will give them worldwide access, while three euros restricts access to a single metropolitan area, and one euro limits photo-taking to stores within a couple of kilometers of a specified location, such as a home or office.