American Express testing facial recognition technology

American Express has reportedly started testing facial recognition and wearable technology to authenticate mobile payments.

American Express testing facial recognition technology

The company is planning to use emerging technologies to appeal to consumers in new segments, such as heavy mobile users who want to use digital payments and those who don’t prefer not to use credit and charge cards, reported The Wall Street Journal.

The company’s lab of developers and designers works to adapt American Express products and services to new consumer devices, such as Google Glass and the Apple Watch.

According to the report, David Baldie, American Express director of technical delivery in Enterprise Growth, has been testing ways to capture and authenticate face images on a mobile device.

Baldie added that facial recognition is considered to be more secure than user names and passwords for conducting sensitive transactions, such as money transfers, via mobile device.

“There’s a large population better served by something other than credit or charge cards,” Neal Sample, president of the Enterprise Growth group at American Express told the WSJ.

American Express has partnered with Wal-Mart Stores to develop the Bluebird prepaid, reloadable card and has also created a digital wallet and peer-to-peer payment system, called Serve.

Last month, Sample and his team has demonstrated a version of the technology, which is not yet ready for launch, to senior managers.

“We want to do the minimum amount of work to demonstrate whether a leap of faith to full development is worth taking,” Sample added.

“If we bring it forward, we would follow the full rigor of the development process. That includes extensive risk and security review,” said American Express Enterprise Growth director of mobile product development and innovation Mili Doshi.