Photo: Dubo

Forget Credit Cards — Now You Can Pay With Your Face. Creepy or Cool?

– Los Angeles Times

Sam Dean reports that a Pasadena-based company called PopID is rolling out facial-recognition-for-payment systems in Southern California

Dean describes the benefits of the system for customers and businesses like restaurants, as well as the success of similar systems rolled out across China at 7-Elevens, by tech behemoth Alipay, which in some cities is even used to pay for bus fares.

”The system is simple: A customer signs up on their phone, takes a selfie and adds cash to their Pop Pay account from a credit card or bank account. When it comes time to pay for their meal, they look into the camera of a PopID tablet or kiosk (no smiling necessary), the cashier verifies their name, and money is withdrawn from the account.”

Dean profiles the entrepreneur behind PopID, John Miller, who has a history of trying to solve fast food restaurant problems with technology. He also reviews purported privacy and ethical issues with the PopID system, like abuse by law enforcement or private companies.

But Miller’s vision for a face-based network goes beyond paying for lunch or checking in to work. After users register for the service, he wants to build a world where they can “use it for everything: at work in the morning to unlock the door, at a restaurant to pay for tacos, then use it to sign in at the gym, for your ticket at the Lakers game that night, and even use it to authenticate your age to buy beers after”

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