Four Japanese firms will jointly develop a payment system using facial recognition technology that will allow customers to make deposits and withdrawals at banks and shop at stores without presenting anything if they register their facial images in advance.
Banking group Resona Holdings Inc., Panasonic System Solutions Japan Co., a unit of electronics giant Panasonic Corp., credit card firm JCB Co. and Dai Nippon Printing Co. expect the system to be put into practical use in a wide range of fields, including checking in at hotels and renting cars.
Panasonic has expertise in facial recognition technology and Dai Nippon Printing is strong in the area of identity verification using digital technology, while JCB is engaged in settlement services.
Resona will first use the planned system for access control at its headquarters by the end of March next year.
The banking group will test whether it is possible to use the system to make deposits, withdrawals and transfers as well as purchase investment trusts at some of the Resona Bank branches without passbooks or cash cards in the fiscal year starting next April.
Resona hopes to expand use of the facial recognition-based payment system among regional banks and other companies that would find it difficult to develop such systems by themselves.
JCB, meanwhile, expects that by using the planned system, its card users who register their facial images in advance will be instantly identified and able to complete payments when they visit its member stores.
While the registration of facial images would require the consent of customers, many people may hesitate to provide their image data due to privacy concerns. How to ensure the security of the planned system will be key to its widespread use.
The four companies plan to develop a system under which facial image data will be stored on a server that cannot be accessed from the outside. Resona will manage the system.
"With the development of artificial intelligence, the accuracy of facial recognition has improved dramatically, making fraud difficult," a Panasonic official said.