Small nickj

Nick Bennett

Strategy Director

Pay With a Selfie

It would seem that we have all been wrong for quite some time. As it turns out, a picture is not worth a thousand words but could be all you need to make your next purchase.

The internet and our thirst for how we consume and exchange information have born a significant rise into how we mix media and text together. When you think of how much we deal with in imagery, the likes of imugur, Flickr and YouTube are the very central point of this.

At the same time, our freedom and ability to pay for shopping and use connected technology have advanced beyond all recognition. The word cash is becoming obsolete, and the ability to pay online and offline via your smartphone is nothing new. But what about paying via a picture… and not just any picture but a selfie.

The competition around this technology and approach is hotting up increasingly. Big players MasterCard and Amazon are both moving like juggernauts to capture this technology - with security as ever being their paramount concern.

With the increase of online data being breached, passwords and personal log-ins at the prey of those that prowl the dark web - no one (not even Tom Cruise in Mission impossible) can make a unique identification of your face to open a payment gateway.

The forever need to satisfy consumer demands is vital in the customer service centric society that we now inhabit, but the desire for this still remains a little unclear. The Amazon system in particular would ask you to make certain facial movements as visual clues to allow a purchase to be made. These would then be cross-checked against the initial setup process that would take your picture in a variety of angles.

Once again the technology powerhouses will fight this one out - Google will no doubt have something to offer in line with their Hands Free program that is fully due in 2017 and we can be sure that Apple is gearing itself up and probably adding an option in prior to the new iPhone launches coming this September, when they purchased Polar Rose back in 2010.

The concept of buying via face and facial movement is a bizarre one, waiting in line at your local supermarket and paying for your groceries via a wink at a machine would probably get you detained in certain countries. With each technology giant pushing a new system and a rush to be the first, expect to see this launch very soon - whether the consumer appetite is hungry, is yet to be seen.

We at Rawnet are very excited about the potential - as a company, we are always embracing new technologies and making them work for our clients. A great example of this can be seen on our recent RFID project with iGuzzini.