Biometric Face-Scanning Till Adds Extra Security to Card Payments

By Gary Cutlack on at

The money transition experts at Worldpay are testing a prototype biometric credit card terminal, a machine that combines today's chip & pin basics with a facial database to help check that someone's not stolen your card and tortured you to reveal your PIN.

The PED Cam system (Pin Entry Device Camera) is a pretty straightforward piece of tech, one that uses a camera embedded into a card terminal to snap a photo of the payer when they're concentrating on remembering their PIN -- a pic that's then sent off to a central biometric database managed by Worldpay to be compared with previous snaps.

The idea being that, once populated with mugshots, it could help crack down on fraudulent card payments, or at least encourage people to take more of an effort with their appearance when shuffling off to Asda to stock up on sausage rolls.

Worldpay’s Nick Telford-Reed, its director of technology innovation, said: "Biometrics has attracted a lot of attention, but achieving sufficient scale has always been difficult in a face-to-face environment. It’s partly because of cost, but also because people don’t want the admin hassle of registering their details. With this prototype we would remove that hassle. Card users could be automatically enrolled in the system when they use their card. The design also means retailers would not have to find space for another device on their already busy sales counters."

They are currently "evaluating consumer reaction" to the idea of being photographed at the tills, a reaction we'd imagine might be quite negative. [Worldpay]