New technologies offer amazing benefits and comfort, saving us so much time and effort. So many scientists work to make our lives easier. While not all the new techs are strictly necessary, they are still handy. People would consider them luxuries a few years ago. Now they just seem easy conveniences. Facial recognition technology is one of them.
PopID, Los Angeles-based tech company, uses it to allow customers to pay with their faces at restaurants or cafes. More than 100 restaurants have already installed the PopPay platform. It builds off the firm’s PopEntry product, allowing people to gain entry to a building or workplace via facial recognition.
China has already been using Pay-by-face for several years. According to business publication Nikkei, 100 million Chinese had registered for some form of technology since 2019.
Consumers need to register for PopPay at first and take a selfie that will identify them within the system. After that, they can then add money to their PopPay account, linking it to their bank account.
Meanwhile, restaurants or cafes can install PopPay with tablets at the counter, drive-thru, or via in-store kiosks. After registering, the customer can order and select PopPay as their payment option. The tablet scans their face, thus identing them and transfer funds from their PopPay account to the restaurant.
What are Pay-by-face’s benefits?
The most important advantage of this system is that it is contactless and, thus, social distancing-friendly. The customer can pay from several feet away, which is great, considering the coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
Furthermore, restaurants that have already used it have seen increased throughput, especially in the drive-thru, according to John Miller, CEO of PopID parent company CaliGroup. The Nielsen Norman Group also studied Chinese pay-by-face technology and found that a transaction took between 10 and 15 seconds, which is quite a fast result.
Miller noted that when people log in to a kiosk using their face, they tend to spend more money. The company reported a 4% increase in average ticket size when costumers have paid via a PopID account.
However, the biggest benefit for restaurants may be lower payment processing costs. They pay 1.6% and a fixed 10-cent fee per PopPay transaction. But it is much lower than most credit card processing fees. PopPay customers load funds onto their account in one transaction, and it means that PopPay is charged just once by the credit card company.
Miller said that they modeled PopPay after Starbucks’ rewards program as it has a similar function.
Despite PopPay’s advantages, lots of people remain wary of facial recognition technology. A study by software-review company GetApp showed that only 32% of consumers feel comfortable having their face scanned by a private firm. That could limit the number of people who choose to use something like PopPay.
Furthermore, some governments are against it as well. Portland, Ore., passed one of the strongest bans of facial recognition technology in the United States in September, outlawing its use by both government agencies and private businesses. However, Miller highlighted that PopPay is entirely optional, and a customer can opt-out at any time.