Banco Original and PicPay to launch facial recognition system for payments

According to the Brazilian bank and digital wallet, the platform will be available to 800,000 points of sale by December

Banco Original's headquarters in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Banco Original's headquarters in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo: Banco Original
  • At the cashier, the seller uses a tablet to take pictures of customers using Original or PicPay apps;
  • The system is being tested with around 2,000 users at Original’s headquarters. 

Brazilian bank Banco Original and digital wallet PicPay are going ahead with their system of facial recognition for payments authentication. According to the firms, 800,000 points of sale will be able to be paid through the system by December and 23.6 million consumers will have the technology at their disposal, according to Valor Econômico.

The first place where it is being tested, a café at Banco Original’s headquarters in São Paulo, requested authorization of around 2,000 customers, since, according to the General Data Protection Law (LGPD), which comes into force in Brazil next year, facial recognition can only be carried out with user consent.

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At the cashier, instead of receiving the card to make the transaction in a PoS device, the seller uses a tablet to take pictures of customers using Original or PicPay apps. The app then pushes a notification to the buyer, asking him to confirm the transaction, which can be completed in about 30 seconds. According to the firm, even people wearing masks, part of everyday life in the “new normal”, will be able to use it.

“The model is not defined yet, but we are currently using the tablet at first”, explained Anderson Chamon, co-founder of PicPay, to Valor. Raul Moreira, executive director of IT at Original, told the newspaper that the system may be integrated to PIX, the Central Bank-backed instant payment platform, to be launched later this year. “Some banks will use passwords for authentication, we will use facial biometrics.”

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Since 2019, Banco Original has been adopting facial recognition in “mobile banking” solutions, including for transferring high amounts of cash. With the advancement of artificial intelligence, the bank decided not to ask for any password in some transactions, only the “selfie”. Today, 1 million of the 3.6 million customers already use the technology.

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