E-payments service PayPal has launched an app that lets UK shoppers pay using their face and smartphone.

The app lets customers ‘check in’ via mobile to a shop or restaurant that offers PayPal. Their name and a profile picture appears on the shop till, where the cashier charges them by clicking the shopper’s profile picture.

Instead of a paper receipt, the customer gets an alert on their phone to let them know how much they have paid and an email receipt from PayPal.

The pilot is being tested by shopkeepers at a high street in Richmond, London. Any PayPal customer who downloads the app will be able to shop without their wallets at participating businesses.

Local merchants who have joined the trial include Cook & Garcia, The Farmery, The Tea Box, The Bingham Hotel, Revolution, Caffé Paolo, The Cedar Coffee Shop, Urban Diner, Pier 1 Fish and Chips, Noble Jones, Hill Café, and Knot Coffee and Pretzel.

Although only a few local businesses have joined up so far, PayPal expects by paying with your face instead of a wallet will become reality by 2016.

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Rob Harper, head of retail services at PayPal, said Richmond’s shops and customers were leading the fight to make the wallet history. "We’re pleased to help local businesses of all sizes offer a new more personal experience, while never having to turn away customers who don’t have enough cash on them to pay," he said.

"Now locals in Richmond can leave their wallet or purse at home and be the first in the country to use their profile picture to pay," Harper added.

The face payments app is available to Apple, Android and Windows phones, so BlackBerry users will need to remember their wallets for now.


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