[WATCH] PayPal experimenting with face verification for mobile payment transactions

Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, August 23, 2013

PayPal is moving one step closer to taking over the e-commerce world, one facial portrait at a time.

The company is experimenting with a new feature on its mobile app, “Local,” that would help PayPal users find nearby stores and restaurants that accept mobile PayPal payments. Should a customer decide to make a buy at one of those stores, they can check into the store online. PayPal will then send their name and photo to the vendor’s PayPal app and charge the goods to the customer by clicking on their photo.

“We’re pleased to help local businesses of all sizes offer a new more personal experience, while never having to turn away customers who don’t have enough cash on them to pay,” Rob Harper, the head of retail services at PayPal, said in a release earlier this month.

Because facial verification is involved, the feature also serves as a preventive measure against identity theft. It does mean, however, that your PayPal avatar must resemble the customer’s portrait – and not a cartoon or other item.

It’s fitting that PayPal would be behind the movement. The company, which was purchased by online auction house eBay several years back, is on track to handle more than $20 billion in mobile payments this yearaccording to the website Techlicious, up from $14 billion in 2012.

Interested in trying it out? Well, you’d have to travel to London, England, as that is the only place the software is being tested now.

Watch PayPal’s “Local” feature in action below.

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