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PayPal trials mobile payments with facial recognition tech

PayPal has premiered a new service that allows customers to pay with their face using its new Check In mobile payment service.

Shop owners on Richmond High Street, London, are the first to trial the service that lets users pay using their smartphone and a profile picture, as the company’s ongoing campaign to “make the wallet history” continues.

"We're pleased to help local businesses of all sizes offer a new more personal experience, while never having to turn away customers who don't have enough cash on them to pay. Now locals in Richmond can leave their wallet or purse at home and be the first in the country to use their profile picture to pay,” said Rob Harper, head of retail services at PayPal.

To use the app to pay for items users should first make sure they’re in Richmond, before going to the app and choosing the Local tab to access a list of premises that accept mobile PayPal payments. The 12 shops and eateries that have signed up to the scheme include TheFarmery, The Tea Box, Urban Diner, The Cedar Coffee Shop, and Pier 1 Fish and Chips.

Once in a location that accepts PayPal mobile payments the customer needs to select ‘check in’ which enables them to pay for goods. The customer’s information, including a name and photo, will then appear on the merchant’s till before the cashier charges them by clicking on the profile picture of the shopper. Once completed, the customer will receive an alert on their phone to let them know the amount, as well as a PayPal email receipt.

The app adds an extra layer of the security to the mobile payments process and comes after the company launched its PayPal Here mobile payment service in Europe earlier this year.

PayPal’s mobile app can be downloaded across the iOS, Android and Windows Phone platforms, and Sky News report that over 2,000 stores will have the system in place by the end of 2013.