Worldpay Wants To Use Your Face To Stop Card Fraud

Authorising your payments might be about to get a lot more personal following an announcement from payments expert Worldpay.

The company has announced it will be trialling the launch of facial recognition technology embedded into card terminals to try and cut down on card fraud.

Worldpay’s prototype PED Cam (Pin Entry Device Camera) could even use captured images to enable faster online authentication as well, the company says.

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The PED Cam would see card terminals having front-facing cameras built in to their design, which would take a picture of the card-user whenever they enter their PIN.

The resulting image generates a unique biometric template linked to the individual’s card, which would be stored in a secure, central database managed by Worldpay.

The terminals would capture a fresh image of the user’s face every time they enter their PIN, meaning that they would learn the profile of the user over time to improve identification. This image is automatically cross-referenced against the biometric template already captured and recorded in the system, providing a second layer of authentication to verify the identity of the card-user.

Biometrics has attracted a lot of attention, but achieving sufficient scale has always been difficult in a face-to-face environment, said Nick Telford-Reed, Worldpay’s director of technology innovation. “It’s partly because of cost, but also because people don’t want the admin hassle of registering their details.

“With this prototype we would remove that hassle. Card users could be automatically enrolled in the system when they use their card. The design also means retailers would not have to find space for another device on their already busy sales counters.”

Attitudes towards biometrics are increasingly changing in the UK as British consumers are becoming more likely than ever to support and use the technology.

A study conducted by Visa Europe found that three-quarters of 16-24 year olds in the UK would feel comfortable using information such as fingerprint scans, facial recognition or retina scanning in place of traditional passcodes.

Overall, three-quarters (76 percent) of this age group said that they would feel comfortable making a payment using biometric security, with over two thirds (69 percent) believe this will make their lives faster and easier.

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Mike Moore

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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