While the US, and many other nations around the world, struggle to find justification for EMV cards and the use of Chip and PIN devices, Europe is steaming ahead beyond the realms of the standard PIN and into facial recognition.
We've already seen the early signs of thumb login's or payments coming in as a way to further protect consumers from fraud, but one tech start-up in Helsinki has developed the world's first facial recognition payment system.
The authentication system effectively turns your face into a PIN through camera's mounted onto the front of an ATM or POS. It's toted as "the worlds fastest payments system," and can even recognise you as you approach the cashier, meaning payments could be completed in less than five seconds.
Just how secure is this technology though? Well, it's supposedly protected by "military-grade algorithms" and it's pretty hard to steal someone else's face – although it certainly didn't stop this man from doing so.
"The cameras aren't using photos, but use a mathematical model of the face, so it's very personal and unique," says Uniqul's chief business development officer Ruslan Pisarenko. "Even twins that look the same have tiny differences. We've been asked a lot about plastic surgery, too, but it would never result in the same mathematical model. The system will be able to recognise if it's a person's real, live face and a mask."
The first unit is set to be installed across Finland in a month's time, but if it proves successful then you'll never have to worry about remembering a pin again.
The thing is, how many people would feel comfortable about their face being mathematically squished into a line of code for protection? Could it also bring about added risks for high-profile members of society or those who could be robbed at ATMs?
It certainly raises a lot of issues at the same time as seemingly fixing many. It'll be interesting to see if it becomes the future of popular payment methods.
While this facial recognition technology from Uniquil won't be present at Total Payments Europe, you can be sure to find the future of payment technologies and ideas there, along with industry experts you’re dying to meet and share ideas with.