PayPal experiments with facial verification payments

A new PayPal feature would let users make purchases with only their smart phone and face. 

Paul Sakuma/ AP Photo/ File
The eBay/PayPal offices in San Jose, Calif. PayPal allows users to share money without sharing financial information.

Lots of companies are toying with digital wallet systems. Besides vendor adoption and consumer education, security concerns seem to be standing in the way of widespread adoption. But if PayPal's new experiment proves successful, that point may become moot. The online payment company has been testing a new mobile app functionality that would require shoppers to buy products with nothing more than their smartphone and their face.

PayPal has started rolling out a new facial verification system with 12 different merchants in London. Nearby shoppers that have the PayPal app for their iOS, Android and Windows phones can use it to find participating retailers and "check-in" to them as they would on Facebook or Foursquare. From that point, the customer's picture and name appears on the shop's payment interface and store employees simply have to select the "Charge" icon once the shopper is ready to make a purchase.

PayPal UK uploaded a video showcasing the verification system being used by various food service and retail locations in London's Richmond upon Thames borough. According to Sky News, PayPal expects around 2,000 business to embrace the cashless payment model by the end of the year. There is currently no word on when this app functionality might come to the United States.

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