We use cookies to give you the best personal experience on our website. If you continue to use our site without changing your cookie settings, you agree we may place these cookies on your device. You can change your cookie settings at any time but if you do , you may lose some functionality on our website . More information can be found in our privacy policy.
Please provide more information.
Stylus no longer supports Internet Explorer 7, 8 or 9. Please upgrade to IE 11, Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Edge. This will ensure you have the best possible experience on the site.
Brief Published: 24 Jul 2013

Tech-Enhanced Grocery: Facial Recognition


Developed in Finland, Uniqul claims to be the world’s first face recognition payment system, enabling consumers to pay for purchases without using any physical money, credit cards or mobile phones.

Instead of holding up the checkout queue, customers – who have pre-registered with Uniqul – will be able to simply look into the camera of an on-site Uniqul tablet to activate their payment details and complete a transaction. Monthly subscriptions will range from  €0.99–€6.99 depending on the radius of coverage desired.

The system is said to cut down payment transaction time from an average of 30 seconds to just under five seconds, and is being finalised for deployment across the Helsinki area. 

Will the supermarket of the future demand that consumers use facial recognition technology? And will consumers buy into the level of data sharing that these systems require?

“Although this system could undoubtedly reduce blockages at checkouts, what we really need to consider is how far the technology will go. With issues like obesity and waste reduction firmly on the agendas of governments and brands, will there come a time when a system like Uniqul “approves” or “refuses” purchases by measuring fat content or nutritional value?” asks Mandy Saven, Head of Food, Beverage & Hospitality at Stylus. 

For more on how supermarkets are becoming more intuitive to shoppers’ needs and dispositions, see Checkouts Respond to Shoppers’ Moods and read about Kraft’s recipe receipt point of sale in Tech Recipes.