What if we told you that you could make your in-store payment process even easier for your customers? In fact, what if they could authenticate payments in the blink of an eye — or better yet, with the blink of an eye?

That’s exactly what OP Lab set out to test with their brand new Pivo Face Payment pilot.


Taking a page from Uber’s book

As Sami Karhunen, Development Director at OP Lab and the visionary behind the Pivo Face Payment pilot explains; “We ported Uber’s payment logic from mobile app world into brick and mortar. So instead of handling the whole payment process at the cash register, we squeeze it to biometrical identification and two touches of tablet.”


The pilot program in practice

While for example Alibaba in China and Lloyds Bank in the UK have been experimenting with facial recognition software for some time now, OP Lab was among the very first to test a similar approach in Finland. And to get the experiment up and running in just a few months, the pilot was organized at OP headquarters’ Antell restaurant, and participation was restricted so that only OP employees could take part.

At Slush 2018 Pivo Face Payment will be available for all guest at OP Stand. Also at OP’s Slush side-event ‘Fintech Insiders Live‘ it will be the only payment method available.


Here’s how it works:

  1. Customer downloads the smartphone app that allows them to save their credit card details and create a biometric template of their face.
  2. At the stand or event, customer can authenticate their payments by simply standing in front of the tablet.
  3. Before charging a credit card, the tablet will prompt the customer to accept the final sum on the screen.


The technology behind Pivo Face Payment

To create a seamless, Uber-like payment experience and bring it to brick and mortar, the OP Lab team built a custom solution that combines a variety of technologies:

  • A secure third-party software that scans people’s faces and turns them into biometric templates, each consisting of 200 minute data points.
  • A custom mobile application for storing credit card details and the biometric templates.
  • A custom in-store application that runs on a locked tablet with a front-facing camera, which OP employees can use to pay for their purchases at the office cafeteria.

As Karhunen explains, “replacing payment terminals with a tablet makes sense because people are so used to large touch screens. It is so much easier to add new payment methods and bring in personalized services (loyalty, benefits etc.) into tablets. Tablet is also ideal for self-service and automated check-outs and tablets can carry out not only the payments but also the scanning of products.”


Towards a frictionless future

While Pivo Face Payment isn’t quite ready for production yet, the early feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Pilot users choose fast, easy and convenient as best adjectives to describe the feeling of paying with Pivo Face Payment.  Each transaction also takes only about 7.5 seconds, which is considerably less than using a mobile wallet or a contactless credit card.” Karhunen sums up.

“At this point, the first commercial execution is only a matter of time — and demand. The idea of the pilot was to rapidly test our hypotheses. Now that we’ve got the feedback and have analyzed the data, I’m pretty confident that we can bring Pivo Face Payment to a wider audience. During the pilot we have also tested new features and security layers into the background. Slush will be our final test and learning stage before commercial launch.”


For more information about Pivo Face Payments, contact:


Sami Karhunen
Innovations Lead at OP Lab
+358 50 535 0505