The SC Business Fair 2019, Japan’s biggest business fair for the shopping center industry, was held from January 23rd to 25th at Pacific Convention Plaza Yokohama. Rakuten and the smartphone app payment service Rakuten Pay were special sponsors of the event, and as part of our collaboration with Rakuten Pay, we also attended to present our face payment system. This was a very exciting opportunity for us, as we had previously only tested the technology in closed tests within the company.
We covered the previous tests in another article, but in short, the system allows users to use their face and a PIN code to make payments in stores, without the need for cash, credit cards, mobile phones or anything else. The facial recognition technology enables identification of the user, and the PIN code acts as a second factor for added security.
Currently, cashless payments in Japan mainly utilize credit cards or QR codes. By combining our technology with the knowhow of Rakuten Pay, we hope to bring the technology one step further and eliminate the need for personal devices or credit cards completely. The goal is to have a production system running on a tablet device, making it convenient and easy for stores to adopt, and the fair was the perfect place for us to present this new solution to the industry, giving visitors an impression of what is to come in the near future.
Over the three days, a total of 826 visitors experienced our face payment system, and many more observed and learned about it. Even Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani, Rakuten’s CEO, came by and tried it , commenting afterwards on its convenience. Other visitors were also surprised by its easiness of use and speed. At the event, we could succesfully introduce a part of the future of payments that is not only cashless, but one step further, to deviceless.
Through this event, we could make a good impression on many people, including key figures in the industry, that this state-of-the-art system is already at this stage and with even further potential. We will continue making efforts to improve the technology until its practical implementation.
For more information on the event and the technology, see the links below.