Facial recognition developer Imagus and payment solutions company Payonyx have announced a new partnership that will see the development of a digital payment system that essentially uses selfies for authentication. The companies plan for the service to have a broad range of applications, from merchants to ATMs to mCommerce.
While many electronic payment systems are starting to adopt such biometric authentication systems – such as mPayment giant Alipay with its ‘Smile to Pay‘ system – this new platform will differentiate itself in its versatility. The photo used to verify the user could be taken not just from a mobile phone, but from a tablet or computer or ATM, or even from a retailer’s POS terminal.
In a press release, Payonyx CEO Daryn Griggs said the service “will be far more convenient and secure than remembering passwords or PIN numbers and is a natural extension to payment security.” For Imagus’ part, CEO Glen Thomas pointed to the company’s history in border security and access control deployments, and called the branching into payment security “a very exciting evolution for Imagus’ range of products.”
It could be a tough fight, though. There are many competitors already in this space, and still image-based facial recognition as a standalone modality is questionable in the level of security it offers. Some apps already use multimodal systems to reach a higher level of security, while the recently announced ZoOm app reaches a new level of sophistication with its 3D facial recognition technology. Still, the partnership is only just getting underway, and Imagus and Payonyx have plenty of time to refine their technology as they develop their ambitious system.