Supposedly its impossible to pay with your eyes, yet we have proven that it is indeed possible, whats more, payments with a single glance are not only faster, but also very secure. It is also said that it is impossible to talk about new technology, finances and start-ups with a global reach in a simple way, yet we will attempt to do so in this condensed report, just for you. It is a summary of our short time on the market with this unique biometric payment system, but also a broader look at the industry and a market which is developing at a dizzying pace. It is also a great opportunity to boast about an innovative idea which we look to implement with the help of the National center for Research and Development. Finally, it’s an attempt to show that innovative ideas and bold plans can be created and implemented in Lower Silesia, Wrocław, Poland, and then taken to the global market. Curious? Enjoy the read.
Biometrics, as a branch of Information Sciences, is a closely related field to Biology, encompassing a set of methods that allow for the identification or confirmation of a person’s identity using their biological characteristics – by they anatomical features or behavioral traits.
Using expertise from many areas of mathematics and computer science, such as information theories, statistics and image processing, experts are able to create algorithms that can identify an individual amongst a large population with high probability and without error. Nowadays, fast and accurate identity confirmation is crucial for the smooth delivery of many services.
At the same time, we face numerous risks, such as the risk of identity and document theft, having to remember many complicated passwords, PINs or wearing ID badges. Biometrics, whereby our own biological characteristics can be both identifier and password, is becoming the natural answer to these challenges. There is no future for digital services without biometrics.
PayEye is the next stage in the development of biometric payments, which, due to it’s reliability and a zero false rejection rate, can replace the current forms of user authentication. Our solution is also a creative response to the requirements of the PSD2 directive regarding the introduction of secure authentication – the introduction of the PayEye system on the domestic market (eventually also on the foreign market) is a solution thats guarantees the highest level of security in transaction processing.
Frank Burch, an American ophthalmologist, proposes the idea of using the iris of the eye to recognise people.
James Doggarts conducts an analysis of the complexity of the iris pattern and hypothesises its usefulness for the purpose of identifying individuals.
Aran Safir and Leonard Flom, two ophthalmologists patent the concept of recognising the iris based on its uniqueness in the population, building on Burch’s work.
John Daugman, professor of computer science at Cambridge University, is developing the first automatic iris recognition algorithm using so-called IrisCodes at the request and with the help of Safir and Flom.
A US patent is granted for the Daugman method.
Safir and Flom’s patent covering the general concept of iris recognition as a biometric method expires, allowing a number of new entrants into the market.
John Daugman’s patent expires, opening the door even wider for the biometrics market.
PayEye was the world’s first company to implement a commercial biometric payment system based on the identification of the iris of the eye.
Iris recognition is considered to be the most perfect method of biometric identity confirmation. Thanks to the enormous information content and uniqueness of the iris pattern, it is possible to identify individuals without error, even in very large populations. The irises of the left and right eye differ, as do the irises of twins, including monozygotic twins. This makes it possible for the method to be used even in huge projects such as India’s national biometric citizen identity programme, which has so far registered more than 1.4 billion iris pairs. The iris therefore appears to be the ideal biometric identifier for PayEye customers.
The PayEye service is an entire proprietary ecosystem that consists of eyePOS payment devices, an innovative electronic wallet for users and algorithms that process the iris into a biometric pattern (PayEye code) used to identify the user during payment.
Since the inception of PayEye to build its solutions we have been using the latest cloud technologies AWS and Azure, on which we developed a network of microservices based on proven world wide fintech frameworks and programming languages. Microservices are divided into many virtual machines in order to achieve high availability and at the same time make the service work in an uninterrupted and stable manner. From the very beginning, our architecture has been compliant with AWS Well-Architected Framework, which is a set of best practices allowing to build the most secure, efficient and resilient infrastructure for applications.
We first developed the eyePOS 1.0 payment terminal, which supports biometric payments using the iris, and an electronic wallet where the user could track their account balance as well as their purchase history in a web browser. The first part of the pilot using the eyePOS 1.0 terminal included over 150 points in and around Wrocław, where users, after creating an account and a biometric template, could make payments with their eyes.
In the next version of the eyePOS 2.0 device, the user will be able to authenticate not only with an iris pattern, but also with his or her face, which provides an additional layer of security. Payment and pattern enrolment will be faster thanks to a better sensor and camera system. The body of the device will be more ergonomic, and the operating system in this version will provide a smoother transition through the entire process. The algorithms we have created use iris features, facial features and the user’s assessment of viability, giving an unprecedented level of accuracy and security. Thanks to the fusion of biometrics used, we will also develop our project for e-commerce.
PayEye is a company built on knowledge, systematically accumulated thanks to continuous research and development. The organisation gathers the experience of its employees and the results of the construction and testing work conducted, thanks to this it has become specialised in the areas of its activity. The design of modern hardware and software solutions requires the use of the latest solutions and technologies available on the global market. We know that sometimes it is worthwhile to use external expertise, hence why PayEye cooperates with numerous domestic and foreign partners (Europe, Asia and the USA). The foundation of the research and development department is the laboratory, where various technologies are initially launched and tested for their performance, and if they meet our requirements they are moved on to the next phase – integration into a broader system. We want the solutions created at PayEye to meet global security standards “by design”, so we design them from the very beginning. Then we verify whether these standards are met, during long-term tests and research in the laboratory and on a larger scale – together with the help of potential users of our technology. In the course of research work, an extremely important stage is to test the technology in conditions similar to its potential use – that is why, cooperating with, among others, the Warsaw University of Technology, we organised tests of our solutions with the participation of potential PayEye customers. This allows us to evaluate the quality of our devices and algorithms by independent experts, and receive valuable feedback and tips for future improvements of the PayEye biometric technology.
You often hear about unauthorised payments with payment cards. Our eye payment system solves this issue – payment confirmation takes place by identifying the user using the iris biometric pattern on the eyePOS payment device. Neither the eye nor the iris itself can be hacked or stolen. It is also not possible to make a transaction using a photo or mock-up, as our payment device verifies the vitality of the eye during identification.
In order to identify the user and confirm the transaction, it is necessary to compare the biometric pattern of the eye with the basic pattern, i.e. the user’s eyes. In addition, a PIN is required for selected transactions for additional security.
We understand that the world of new technology, cyber security and innovative solutions can be complicated, so we try to simplify it. We organise webinars, conferences and discussion panels. We participated in dozens of congresses and meetings related to what we do. We also rely on open, proactive communication with the public, and our social media channels, as well as traditional and online media coverage, which have circled almost the entire globe. We do this because we want to make it easy to access information and enjoy encounters with new technology.
We are fintech companmy from Wrocław, Poland, first in the world to commercially implement a biometric payment confirmation system using irises. It is here that we created an entire proprietary ecosystem which consists of eyePOS payment devices, an innovative electronic wallet for users and algorithms processing the iris into a biometric pattern (PayEye code) used to identify the user during payment. In the first instance, the service was made available in Wrocław, but our solution is now known both nationwide and internationally. It is no coincidence that eye payments were introduced as a pilot in the place we come from – we wanted to give the residents of our city the opportunity to test the service freely in the first place. Thanks to this, journalists from all over the country are now coming to Wrocław to test the solution and pay with their eye. The eyes of the whole world turn to the Capital of Lower Silesia, and the whole market is closely watching our actions, which is confirmed by all the awards that we have received.
The company has brought solutions from the future into everyday life. The direction of biometrics for any industry will soon be natural and for several reasons. The pandemic has made consumers look for a convenient and safe payment system. Similar expectations, if only for the sake of maintaining a sanitary regime, have entrepreneurs, who do not want to expose their own staff to unnecessary additional contact, as well as their customers. On top of that, time can be saved, as the whole transaction process can be clearly accelerated. Biometrics also has the advantage of supporting strong user authentication, and it is already apparent that these solutions can be used much more widely in our everyday lives, in addition to payments, e.g. as a form of access to premises or warehouses, confirmation of contracts, decisions or personal identification.
The innovation of the solution, undiscovered so far in the filed of biometrics, caused PayEye to obtain a huge – nearly 11-million PLN grant from the National Centre for Research and Development for industrial research and development of a biometric payment system based on transactions confirmed by the identification of the user through iris and face biometrics.