Major stadiums and venues to adopt facial verification payments

Like it or not, facial recognition and biometric verification is coming to commerce.
Written by Greg Nichols, Contributing Writer
Witthaya Prasongsin / Getty

Live events are finally back -- with some surprise technology. One of the world's largest entertainment producers, ASM Global, is embracing facial verification payments at some of its biggest venues.

The rollout comes as part of a partnership between ASM and technology provider PopID, and the plan is to leverage advanced facial verification at locations in stadiums and theaters worldwide. This is in spite of skepticism worldwide that biometric identification, and facial recognition in particular, is being used to power global surveillance

PopID has harnessed the surge of interest in contactless payments during the pandemic to position itself as a leading provider of facial recognition for commerce. About a year ago, we covered the company's made-for-the-pandemic partnership with robotic pizza vendor Piestro.

ASM Global, meanwhile, has been moving toward biometric advances via its in-house Venue Innovation Lab. The partnership is an outgrowth of both companies' desire to bill biometric identification as a convenience and experience-enhancing technology.

"Because of the depth and breadth of our global resources and expertise, we are uniquely positioned to drive industry-leading innovation with best-in-class partners," says ASM Global CEO and President Ron Bension. "PopID's dynamic technology and solutions will allow us to even further revolutionize the event experiences of the future, ensuring that every guest interaction is secure, speedy, and seamless." 

PopID's value to juggernauts like ASM is its connected infrastructure, including payments, terminals, and point-of-sale integrations. One likely early application of the technology will be to provide VIP ticket holders with a more personalized event experience.

"We are excited to partner with ASM and take the initial steps to truly revolutionize the event experience of the future with highly secure, phone-less entry and digital payments." said John Miller, CEO of PopID and Chairman of Cali Group. "When customers opt to enroll in our platform, they'll be able to enter the venue by requesting facial verification at the gate – instead of having to rely on a QR code on their phone. The seamless experience will continue at concession stands, where a guest can 'check in' with facial verification at the point of sale, instantly see personalized food and beverage recommendations, and order and pay without the need for IDs, credit cards, or phones." 

San Diego's Pechanga Arena will serve as an early testbed. Fans will be able to authenticate tickets and pay for meals in partnership with concessionaire Levy Restaurants. More ASM Global venues are expected to follow suit.


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