Payment by selfie – Nestlé starts pilot project in Europe

In the Spanish province of Barcelona, supermarket customers can now pay for the first time via facial recognition with cash or credit cards no longer required. The business, which sells only Nestlé products, is by its own account the first supermarket in Europe to introduce this method of payment.

In order to use the service, customers must first download the "Face to Pay Nestlé Market App". This is suitable for any smartphone operating system, whether Android or iPhone. Via the app, users can create an account, store payment data and their biometric data for facial recognition via the smartphone camera.

Instead of paying at a checkout counter, customers in the Nestlé store simply take a selfie from a tablet. The tablet checkout compares the photo with the biometric information stored in the app. If the information matches, payment is made.

ATMs with facial recognition are already in operation in some regions of Spain.

According to a press release, the service is not tied to any particular financial institutions or card providers. Anyone who has a smartphone and a credit card can sign up for facial recognition.

The project was jointly developed by Caixa Bank, the financial management of Nestlé Spain and the Payment Innovation Hub, an alliance of payment service providers Caixa Bank, Global Payments Inc., Visa, Samsung and Arval.

Caixa Bank in Spain already started identification via ATM face recognition at the beginning of 2019.

Introducing payment by facial recognition in the supermarket, is set to secure the Spanish bank as well as Nestlé a pioneering role in the digitization of payment systems.