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NEC introduces facial recognition for store payments and admission control at the Osaka-Kansai Expo 2050


On May 23, NEC announced that it will introduce a facial recognition system at the 2025 Japan International Expo (Osaka-Kansai Expo). The aim is to improve user convenience through contactless payment by using facial recognition for store payments (pay-by-face) at the Expo site and additional facial recognition for admission control. Meanwhile, this will achieve safe, secure, and efficient Expo operations through the prevention of identity theft.

Image of Expo site store payment using facial recognition.
Provided by NEC

In addition to purchasers of season and summer pass tickets, anyone can register as a member of the Osaka-Kansai Expo's own electronic money, the EXPO2025 digital wallet "MYAKU-PE!" at the venue, regardless of the type of admission ticket. For those who have registered, the Expo will offer a payment service using facial recognition at stores within the Expo site that have the "stera terminal," an installed all-in-one payment terminal that can handle a variety of payment methods scheduled to be introduced within the Expo site. If the facial information and payment method are registered in advance, the user can make a payment without using a smartphone or card, simply by performing facial recognition at a participating store. Various payment methods including "MYAKU-PE!" or credit card can be selected. This is the largest example of a payment operation in Japan in which e-money and facial recognition are linked.

The admission control system is designed for season and summer pass ticket purchasers. The 51 admission gates at the venue entrances will be equipped with facial recognition to help prevent identity fraud through ticket lending and borrowing. When a person with an eligible pass enters, that person will hold the QR code on the ticket at the gate, and an additional facial recognition check will be performed using a camera installed at the gate. The number of registered people is expected to reach 1.2 million IDs, the largest number ever achieved by NEC in providing facial recognition in Japan, with the aim of successfully implementing a system allowing visitors to enter the site smoothly and securely. Moreover, season pass and summer pass ticket purchasers can use the venue's payment and admission services with a single face registration for a comfortable and convenient experience.

According to NEC, the service will be available to users who have agreed to use of their biometric data and have registered for the service. In addition, the registered facial images and other personal information will be stored securely within the platform in Japan. NEC also ensures that it will not use any personal information for any other purposes without the consent of the user.

This article has been translated by JST with permission from The Science News Ltd. ( Unauthorized reproduction of the article and photographs is prohibited.

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