American Express Testing Facial Recognition, Wearable Tech

In order to improve the customer experience and streamline digital payments on mobile, American Express is experimenting with facial recognition software and making a push into the world of wearable technology.

The company’s lab, the American Express EG Rapid Prototyping team, has created a facial recognition prototype for mobile apps, which will enable customers to access their account information using facial mapping software. The team has also been testing prototypes on wearables to see if consumers could more easily access their account information on a preferred device.

“Both facial recognition in other mobile apps and wearables are technologies that are gaining popularity with consumers,” says David Baldie, director of technical delivery at American Express Enterprise Growth.

The company hasn’t yet decided if and when it will integrate the technologies into its digital wallet and peer-to-peer payment system Serve, as the team is still verifying their security.

“We’re still testing the security aspects of facial recognition technology. Before bringing the technology to customers, it would be thoroughly pressure tested through various risk scenarios to ensure durability and security,” says Mili Doshi, director of mobile product development and innovation at American Express Enterprise Growth.

American Express is not the first company that is trying to make mobile payments more convenient via recognition techniques. Earlier this year, Alibaba, China’s biggest e-commerce platform, started testing out a new service called “Smile to Pay,” which will allow consumers to purchase a product by scanning their faces with their mobile cameras. Meanwhile, Apple has added fingerprint identification to iPhones, and Samsung has integrated eye-scanner technology into its Galaxy S5 smartphone.

Image via Shutterstock.

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