Monday, 20 March 2017 16:49
Pay by face - or by sunglasses
But what will Apple do?
Samsung will incorporate facial-recognition technology for mobile payments as a new feature in the upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Bloomberg said that the updated Galaxy will combine fingerprint authentication with iris and facial recognition to verify users accessing mobile payment services such as Samsung Pay.
Samsung is said to be working already with financial institutions to integrate the technology with mobile banking apps for the device.
Apple is thinking in a similar way, having last week acquired a patent for a way to “detect faces using information in digital video feeds”. It is not due to launch its iPhone 8 for several months but rumours are flying that it will try to outdo competitors with something completely unexpected.
Visa however, is making it possible to pay with your sunglasses.
Trying to keep up in terms of innovation, Visa has announced it will be launching its new NFC sunglasses at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas this week.
Users will be able to pay for their purchases by taking the sunglasses off and taping them on the card processing reader. The sunglasses will be embedded with a tiny chip on the side. Not rocket science (this could just as easily be a phone, watch or a jacket, but it does solve the problem of how do buy a drink when all you have on is your swimming cosy - and of course your shades.
While the glasses aren’t available yet, Visa is currently testing the product to see if it will spark interest from device users and potential investors.
The company is reportedly seeking a brand or bank to sponsor the product.
Speaking to CNBC, Chris Curtin, chief brand and innovation marketing officer at Visa said: “It ties back to our tagline of everywhere you want to be.”
“Without it it’s hard for us to fulfil our tagline. Our view is we take form factors that you don’t expect to be payment-enabled like sunglasses or maybe like a ring and expose to the market that maybe it can be.”
Though device payments and wearable technology has increased significanty in the market, they remain peripheral and minor in terms of spend. Cards remain by far the most important challenger to cash.