Nestle launches first facial recognition payment system in Barcelona

CaixaBank, Nestlé Market and the Payment Innovation Hub have launched the first facial recognition payment system in a business in Spain. It is a system that enables customers to pay for purchases solely using their face, without the need to use a physical payment method, such as a bank card, phone or cash

Food giant Nestlé is testing facial recognition payments at Nestlé Market, a concept supermarket in Barcelona, Spain, that stocks the company’s established brands as well as the latest additions to its range.

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To use the service, shoppers download a Face to Pay Nestlé Market app for iOS or Android and register their personal details, bank card and a facial image. They can then check out using a dedicated fast checkout lane.

This is how Nestle facial payment by recognition works

To use the solution, all the user has to do is download the application Face to Pay Nestlé Market (available both on Android in Google Play and on iPhone in the App Store), before making their first purchase, and register their personal details, card and their facial image.

Once they have completed the registration process, the customer will be able to pay for their purchases at Nestlé Market, where an exclusive fast checkout has been set up, fitted with a tablet featuring a camera and internet connection.

When making the payment, the customer will take a selfie with the checkout camera. The system compares that image with the biometric pattern stored in the general database, based on the photograph uploaded when registering. If there is a match, the system proceeds to process the payment, and the customer does not need to use any physical payment methods (card, phone or cash) other than the photo of their face.

Nestlé is working with CaixaBank and the Payment Innovation Hub, a multi-sector alliance comprising Global Payments, Visa, Samsung and Arval as well as CaixaBank, on the three-month pilot.

The group also recently implemented the facial payments service at restaurant services group Viena’s Rodilla cafeteria at Barcelona Tech City’s Pier01 outlet.

CaixaBank has installed face recognition ATMs at branches in Barcelona and Valencia, and plans to deploy the technology “gradually at other points of the CaixaBank network over the coming months”. The ATMs let customers make cardless cash withdrawals without entering a PIN.

For CaixaBank, the initiative represents a step further in its strategy of committing to facial recognition technology in environments where its application can provide an advantage for the customer in terms of user experience and security,” the bank says.

Nestlé, a pioneer in digital innovation

The launch of the facial recognition payment system at the Nestlé Market store in Esplugues de Llobregat, in Barcelona, comes as part of Nestlé’s approach to being a pioneer in digital innovation and its impact on the new purchasing habits of consumers.

Close to 1,000 employees from the company’s offices in Barcelona, including an international IT team and other global support units, are working on the digital transformation of Nestlé, developing new technologies and services for consumers.

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