Mobile payments are a growing business: This year, PayPal is on track to handle $20 billion in mobile payments, up from $14 billion in 2012. In an effort to make these transactions more secure, PayPal’s mobile app is about to get an interesting new security feature: your face.
The new facial recognition feature is designed for real-life purchases in a physical store – a type of transaction PayPal wants to see happen more often over its network. When you visit a participating store, open the app and “check in” to the business like you would on Facebook via the “Local” tab. That sends your photo to the cashier for verification, who then completes your purchase by tapping your picture, no wallet required.
Picture verification can provide an extra layer of protection against fraud when making purchases using your phone. On the flip side, that means you might need to skip the glamour shots and make sure your profile picture actually looks like you.
The new payment feature is currently being tested in the Richmond High Street shopping district of London at a number of different cafes and eateries. Should PayPal’s new face-verification system meet with success there, we could soon be seeing it tested on our side of the pond.