Tech firm releases pay-by-face system in California city

PopID lets you use your face to make purchases

Whether or not you have a million-dollar smile, your face might be able to help you spend some cash.

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Tech company PopID said on Friday that it has helped dozens of retailers and restaurants in Pasadena, Calif., establish “the nation’s first dense ‘face-pay’ network.”

With the coronavirus changing the way many companies do businesses, PopID pointed to the system as a way for customers to make purchases without needing contact with employees. (PopID)

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The company’s PopPay facial recognition devices can allow contactless, hands-free payment at a kiosk, a drive-thru, a screen at a counter or tableside with a hand-held device. Once PopID’s system recognizes the customer’s face, it draws funds from their account and sends a text message to confirm payment.

With the coronavirus changing the way many companies do businesses, PopID pointed to the system as a way for customers to make purchases without needing contact with employees. A demonstration video provided by PopID even shows a customer wearing a mask using the system.

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The company said its facial recognition systems are opt-in only, meaning they don’t try to read faces of other people not using it.

PopID accounts can also tie into business’ loyalty programs and track credit for purchases. The company said it has been using loyalty brands at several regional and national restaurant chains for three years in order to test its technology.

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The company’s similar PopEntry technology can also be used for workers to “scan in” at their jobs and for students entering campus facilities. The devices can also be equipped with thermal temperature screening as a health safety measure.

“In each new city we enter, we initially focus on installing PopEntry systems in the workplace and on local college campuses,” PopID CEO John Miller said in a written statement. “As these communities grow comfortable using PopID to check in, we enlist area restaurants and retailers to offer PopPay for transactions.”

Going ahead, PopID plans to continue launching more “dense networks” on a city-by-city rollout.

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