LG trials digital currency payments via face recognition

South Korean tech giant LG has announced it is testing a method of paying in digital currency through face recognition, in the latest blockchain payment innovation to be trialed by the company.

Through its IT subsidiary LG CNS, the company will implement the technology within one of its employee cafeterias, and works by combining blockchain tech with artificial intelligence (AI) for face recognition.

The technology works by scanning the payee’s face. Payments are calculated and sent automatically from the individual’s crypto wallet, thus reducing the need for any overt exchange of currency at the point of sale.

LG has said it believes face recognition payments are more convenient than QR codes and smart tags, requiring no physical contact to send or collect payments.

Lee Joon-won of LG CNS said they expected the system’s cryptocurrency would eventually be used widely as people adapt to the convenience of the technology.

It is expected that blockchain-based community currency will be used by a lot more people as it becomes more convenient when it meets AI. As non-face-to-face technologies are applied recently, blockchain that increases transaction reliability will be used more widely.

Particularly in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the company said the technology could eventually allow merchants to collect payment in a truly contactless environment.

For the moment, the scheme is being trialed in only one of LG’s offices. However, the firm is already reported to be considering expanding to more of its internal staff cafeterias and retail stores.

The technology follows the launch of facial recognition door access at its headquarters in Seoul in early April. The technology uses a similar face scanning mechanism and AI to determine and permit access through its entrance gates.

The AI goes further, identifying individuals including those wearing face masks, while automatically denying access to those who are wearing masks incorrectly.

Pairing the face recognition AI with blockchain payments is another clear use case with specific benefits during the global health crisis.

Should the trial be successful, there is a suggestion the technology could be rolled out commercially, giving merchants an even more convenient option for collecting payment in retail settings.

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