Following a partnership with Romanian fintech PayByFace, Up Romania meal and gift cardholders can now make payments with biometric facial recognition by having their face scanned in affiliated stores and restaurants, the company announced.
The PayByFace app is available for both Android and iOS users. To create an account, users need to provide personal details, the Up Romania card number, a PIN code and a selfie. Once the account is opened, users can request face scanning to pay for amounts up to RON 30 (roughly US$7). If transactions are higher, the payment will be authorized only when the security PIN is provided and then processed through the EuPlatesc platform. A transaction receipt is then emailed to both parties.
“Up Romania has committed to a broad digitisation process meant to offer our customers a simplified experience in using the cards issued by our company,” said Elena Pap, Up Romania General Manager and Up Group Regional Manager, in a prepared statement. “In addition to creating opportunities for online payments in as many stores as possible, we also want them to have at hand fast and safe means of payment. Therefore, our customers can now pay by phone via Apple Pay, without their phone, via PayByFace and shall soon be able to carry out direct payment from their Up Mobil app, through an Up Romania developed e-wallet.”
Future plans include rolling out biometric payment technologies in more than 500 stores in Romania by the end of 2021. Selfie payments are currently available in some affiliated locations in Bucharest, but the goal is to scale them to 100 in the capital, as well as to other cities. PayByFace aims to scale the business internationally and enter partnerships with establishments in Bulgaria, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, UK and Italy.
PayByFace has named Sreejit Ankarath, head of the Consulting, Transformation and Global Alliances with Tech Mahindra, as the newest member to its Advisory Board, and has received funding from Raiffeisen Bank in Romania to support biometric payments growth.
In July, its biometric facial recognition-based payments system was implemented in Tucano Coffee shops in Bucharest in collaboration with Romanian online card payment processor Euplatesc.