|A Shinhan Card employee pays for a cup of coffee with the "Shinhan Face Pay" system at a coffee shop inside the card issuer's headquarters building in Seoul, Thursday. / Courtesy of Shinhan Card|
By Park Jae-hyuk
Facial recognition-based payments, which have been widely used in China, are now available here.
Shinhan Card said Thursday it has started running "Shinhan Face Pay," a facial recognition-based payment system it demonstrated during the Korea Fintech Week 2019 event hosted by the Financial Services Commission in May.
According to the card firm, its employees are able to make payments with the system at the cafeteria, coffee shop and CU convenience store inside the company's headquarters building.
The employees can use the system after registering their credit card information and taking photos of their faces by using facial recognition kiosks at the headquarters.
If they register their information, they can make purchases without credit cards or mobile phones, just using their faces, at every store equipped with the payment system.
After running the system at its headquarters building on a trial run, Shinhan Card will allow its customers to use the system at universities and CU convenience stores nationwide.
"The facial recognition payment system is the most innovative payment system at this moment," a Shinhan Card official said. "We expect to offer new experiences and superior value to our customers by improving convenience and security of payment with our Shinhan Face Pay."
Shinhan Card said it signed a memorandum of understanding in January with BGF Retail, the operator of CU convenience stores, to develop the futuristic payment system.
A BGF Retail official said: "We expect the system will be used to identify customers who visit unmanned convenience stores in the future."
In addition to Shinhan Card, retailers and financial companies here have made efforts to commercialize their facial recognition-based payment systems amid growing customer demand for more convenient payment methods.
GS Retail has operated its own facial recognition-based payment system since September 2018 at a smart GS25 convenience store inside the LG CNS headquarters building. However, the store is open to LG CNS employees only.
Shinsegae I&C, the IT service providing unit of Shinsegae Group, is also developing its own facial recognition-based payment system that can be used for SSG Pay, the mobile payment system Shinsegae Group developed.
In China, customers are already making payments through facial recognition systems in smartphone apps and kiosks in stores.
Alipay, the mobile payment arm of Alibaba, even decided to add beauty filters to its payment system, as the recent poll found that 60 percent of respondents think the payment system made them look ugly.