PayPal launches phone payment app using customer's face

The system in being piloted in Richmond

You might soon be using just your face and your mobile phone to pay for things at the shops, using a new app launched to do just that.

The online payment giant PayPal is piloting the system in Richmond, just west of London.

The app, for iOS, Windows OS and Android phones, maps nearby shops and restaurants which accept the payments. Once a user checks in inside the shop, their name and photo appear on the shop's payment system. The retailer just has to click the image to take the payment.

PayPal then sends an alert to the phone, letting the buyer know how much they have paid.

Rob Harper, PayPal head of retail services, said: "PayPal first brought 'pay by mobile' to the UK high street two years ago. Through our Richmond initiative, 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.

"This is another step on the journey towards a wallet-less high street, where customers will be able to leave their wallet or purse at home and pay using their phone or tablet. We predict that by 2016 this will become a reality."

And Richard Garcia, owner and proprietor of Cook and Garcia cafe on The Quadrant in Richmond, said: "We've been using PayPal's check-in service within the business for several months, and have found it really efficient.

"Customers don't have to worry about having cards, cash or change, just their phones. It is the quickest transaction through the till, which means less queues and we never have to turn down a sale, both of which are great for business."

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