The use of facial recognition technology to help combat card fraud in stores is being explored in the payments industry. “PED Cam” (Pin Entry Device Camera) uses an upward-facing camera, embedded into a standard card terminal to take a picture of the card-user whenever they enter their PIN.
The resulting image generates a unique biometric template, linked to the individual’s card and is stored in a secure, central database managed by Worldpay.
PED Cam is a prototype device developed by Worldpay,
Card terminals linked to the central database capture a fresh image of the card-user’s face every time they enter their PIN learning the profile of the user over time to improve identification. This image is automatically cross-referenced against the biometric template already captured and recorded in the system, providing a second layer of authentication to verify the identity of the card-user.
The prototype design uses low-cost, readily available technology and whilst the team behind the research is keen to stress its design is still in concept phase, they believe the principle of using facial recognition to verify the identity of card users has a number of distinct advantages over other forms of biometric security currently being trialled in the payments space.
Worldpay’s team of researchers are currently evaluating consumer reaction to the camera in controlled trials as well as investigating how consumers could opt into the biometric system, to assess the viability of the prototype. The team is also exploring the potential of using the biometric profile captured by the device as a way of verifying user identities online as well as in-store.
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