Aug 2, 2021

Facial Biometrics in Payment Procedures / Use Case

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Facial Biometrics in Payment Procedures / Use Case

Throughout this article, we will comment on the progress of the concept of facial biometrics or facial biometric recognition during payment procedures, in addition to knowing its main features, advantages and regulations.

Facial Biometrics: How it works?

Prior to go into the subject of facial biometrics in depth, it is necessary to give a basic overview of the concepts that we are going to deal with. 

Facial biometrics or biometric facial recognition can determine a person’s identity through her face. This is not an intrusive technology unlike other types of biometrics existing on the market such as, for example, the fingerprint.

It becomes the preferred option for businesses, both as a security model for customers and as an enhancement of the user experience.

The various solutions speak for themselves within the market of identification, as well as what is allowed by the regulation or not, consequently, we must explain the fundamental prerequisites, as well as the advantages of the use of this mechanism.

Thanks to this information, we will be able to objectively evaluate the solutions available to us and choose the most relevant for our business.

Facial biometrics and its regulation

It is important to emphasize that within the financial sector, selfies or photos do not comply with the legal regulation on the prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorism (KYC AML global legislation) given their low level of security.

However, since the entry into force of the new AML5 Directive at the end of 2018 and also thanks to the eIDAS Regulation, facial biometrics have been accepted when supported by means of video identification procedures.

Thus, a homogenization of the European Digital Market occurs, with more than 508 million potential customers.

If you want to know more about the unique European Digital Market, download this Whitepaper.

How does facial biometrics work and which are its advantages?

Biometric facial recognition is used in various market sectors as an innovative technology, since it is a safer alternative than conventional passwords.

Similarly, the range of facial biometric technology and its adaptation to the various channels are much higher than those of other biometrics, which becomes optimal with respect to the mobile, the Web and the face-to-face channels. Its main advantages are the following:

  1. Ease of use.
  2. The physical characteristics of a face are almost impossible to counterfeit.
  3. Integrity of the service, it can be used at any time without friction.
  4. It has an omnichannel strategy since it can be used on any electronic device equipped with a camera.
  5. Real time effectiveness.

Features and results of facial biometrics

Facial biometrics is becoming the basis of the multi-factor strategies of the Fintech sector, since it improves both the customer experience and the security that the client feels when he realizes any procedure whatsoever.

A facial biometric authentication procedure must offer a series of general features to ensure optimal results:

1. The universal nature of the solution

It is essential that the procedure can take place in any country, using any channel and from any type of device, subject to having a camera.

2. Proof of the customer’s life

An image in itself does not determine whether a person is alive or not, therefore, it is necessary to use a streaming procedure to prove that the person is who she says she is at this very moment, that she is alive and does not act under coercion. It is therefore also important to keep a video proof of the procedure.

3. Environmental control

The quality of the environment must be monitored in real time to ensure that the validated procedure has met the necessary prerequisites. We take into account here all the external variables like the brightness, the quality of the camera itself, as well as the network used by the customer.

4. The advantage of the registration procedure

The complexity of the registration procedure is very low, since the user does not need to interact during an automatic procedure. It is therefore a big difference compared to other types of biometrics such as digital, vocal or retinal.

Use cases of biometric facial recognition

Biometric facial recognition as an authentication system is implemented in the many procedures we carry out on a daily basis such as, for example, underwriting banking products, access to workplaces or multiple facilities.

However, if we focus on the payment procedures, the main ones are as follows:

  • Accept payments and online purchases: Buy and pay in seconds, where you want to.
  • Payments in retail stores: Pay in any establishment thanks to your face.
  • Cash withdrawal from ATMs: The user enters a credit / debit card at ATMs to withdraw money. Thanks to facial biometrics, his face is identified by the bank which validates his identity.

SmileID, a facial biometrics solution

SmileID, our solution, has an exclusive user experience, with an operation whose strategy is omnichannel and can be used on any device with a camera.

It offers an additional guarantee against other authentication systems, since it guarantees that the person is who she says she is, supported by our VideoID video identification technology.

There are two options:

  • Whenever the client is known: there is no friction during registration, therefore the procedure is faster and more efficient.
  • Whenever the user is new: it must be registered in a few seconds thanks to VideoID, then he will be able to carry out any operation by simply showing his face.

The procedure is dynamic and efficient for the customers because it is an automatic service, simple, accessible and without friction, thanks to which payments are made in question of seconds, in a practical way and with more reliability, the procedure now becoming disruptive within the market.


In the end, biometrics facial recognition becomes a technological reality whose impact is high in our society.

An innovative and disruptive product that guarantees full security and customer satisfaction, subject to compliance with regulatory requirements.

The users govern their choices by the ease that brings the digital world, in this sense, SmileID arrived in order to stay within the world of new technologies.

If you would like to know more about the use cases relating to facial biometric authentication, please see below.

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