A window sticker advertising Visa and MasterCard payments hangs in a window Feb. 25, 2008, in San Francisco. Biometrics firm VisionLabs launched a terminal that combines both credit card and biometric facial recognition payments in one. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Financial consumers are becoming more accustomed to biometric authentication, using fingerprint access for their mobile phones and even business entry access. And now, customers of FSIs may embrace facial recognition technology to verify their identity as well, as more financial technology companies, banks and credit unions embrace facial recognition for point-of-sale (POS) transactions.

At the Money 2020 conference in Las Vegas earlier this week, facial recognition biometrics firm VisionLabs announced the launch of its own payment terminal to enable both credit card and biometric facial recognition payments in one, certified by Visa and Mastercard.

Utilizing an artificial intelligence-driven facial recognition algorithm, this new payment verification is expected to make contactless payment safer and more secure. VisionLabs’ POS terminal is the first payment device to enable both traditional credit card payments and biometric facial recognition payments.

Anton Nazarkin, global business development director at VisionLabs said the company introduced its first generation of its LUNA POS with no credit card support in 2019, “to simply try out the face-based payment process. It quickly turned out that the adoption rate of this technology exceeded our expectations. We have recorded a conversion rate upwards of 40% to face payments among different types of major national banks and retailers."

VisionLabs has filed six design and three utility patents in the hopes of “radically disrupting everyday biometric payments.”

Biometrics have been edging their way into payments and financial account authentication for many years. But it is only in recent years that U.S. consumers have come to embrace biometric authentication, as consumers and business customers have become more comfortable with using biometrics in other applications and more dependent on digital banking and payments.

The creation of the VisionLabs biometric-compliant POS terminal comes as a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Nazarkin, which has radically accelerated the shift to biometric contactless payment methods.

“While some banks are already using smartphone-supported facial recognition to authenticate online payments,” he said, “this is not enough to satisfy consumers’ growing demand for safer and more secure ways to pay, contact-free.”

Securing payments via software-based facial recognition will exceed 1.4 billion globally by 2025 compared with just 671 million in 2020, according to Juniper Research. Also, facial authentication is seen as seamless, quick, convenient and comfortable for consumers who have come of age taking selfies. In the case of Amsterdam-based VisionLabs, the terminal will scan the customer’s facial geometry, and send said a face template to the payment provider or bank. The terminal does not save the biometric data as a security precaution.

The facial recognition market is expected to reach $8.5 billion in 2025.