PayPal are currently testing a new mobile payment method in (West) London, using a facial-recognition and verification app. The app highlights participating shops and merchants on your phone and allows you to check-in, and pay for the goods you are after.
By sliding an animated pin on the screen, your name and photograph show up on the payment system in-store and the transaction is complete when the cashier clicks the photo to process the payment. The receipt is then emailed to you.
I can see this being useful if you are pre-ordering a coffee on your commute to work, paying on the train/tube and completing the transaction as you arrive – no need to fumble around for a wallet or cash, swift.
I’m also interested in the comments around ‘regular customers’, especially where the store may not know your name, but they see you every week, ordering the same thing. It gives them an opportunity to build up a relationship with you, as the customer, and this is something I personally appreciate – it’s great to get good customer service.
Cook and Garcia owner Richard Garcia comments:
“Customers don’t have to worry about having cards, cash or change, just their phones,” he said in a news release. “It is the quickest transaction through the till, which means less queues, and we never have to turn down a sale, both of which are great for business.”
The participating merchants include Cook & Garcia, TheFarmery, The Tea Box, The Bingham Hotel, Revolution, Caffé Paolo, The Cedar Coffee Shop, Urban Diner, Pier 1 Fish and Chips, Noble Jones, Hill Café and Knot Coffee and Pretzel.