Touchless Verification: Facial Recognition For the Public Good


Sep. 5, 2020

Facial recognition is often seen in a bad light due to our fear of Orwellian surveillance states. But facial recognition – when used for the public good especially in the form of facial authentication – can bring numerous benefits. Because while facial recognition certainly can be employed in some shady ways, facial authentication actually increases individual security rather than decreases it.

Facial recognition is about identifying people, answering the question: “Who is this person?”. Facial authentication, on the other hand, answers the question “Is this person who they say they are?”. This means facial authentication addresses an entirely different set of circumstances, often involving fraud prevention and the protection of the individual.

In this article we’ll have a closer look at five use-cases where facial authentication improves both public and individual safety: retail, healthcare, business, airports, and high-security facilities.

Retail: facial recognition improves customer experience and payment security

Even before COVID-19, the shift towards contactless payments was already happening fast. But the pandemic has caused an increase in demands for cashless payments for retail ai, making it a catalyst for rapid transformation. One benefit of facial biometrics is that it enables authentication from a distance. The Federal Trade Commission promotes facial recognition as a key safety tool in all financial processes where personal data needs protection. Mastercard’s “selfie pay“, and Alipay’s “smile to pay” are just a few examples of how the large players are embracing pay-with-your-face solutions.

  • More secure payments
  • Safe, contactless payments from a distance
  • Quicker transactions
  • Lower costs with less need for staff

Health care: quicker processes and safer procedures with facial authentication

There are few contexts where accurate identification is as crucial as in healthcare ai. We’ve all heard horror stories of people receiving the wrong surgical procedure or getting someone else’s medical prescription. In fact, the CDC estimated that in 2016, medical errors caused as many as 251,454 deaths in the US. That makes it the third leading cause of death, after cancer and heart disease. Facial recognition for authentication can improve the level of safety in healthcare.

It can also help speed up admin and reduce wait time. No more need for a receptionist; instead, a virtual assistant can scan your face in seconds and assign you to your doctor. The average US nurse spends 25% of work time on admin tasks, so there is a lot of time to save.

While identifying patients, the AI can also look for irregularities such as signs of depression or COVID-19, and inform the doctor in advance. Facial biometrics can also identify conditions that physicians may otherwise miss, such as rare genetic syndromes.

  • Secure patient verification
  • Safer prescription processes
  • AI can spot symptoms of medical conditions such as COVID-19

Business: facial recognition helps companies save time and money

Facial authentication enables companies to control things like presence at work and access to facilities – security ai – without the need for human interaction or employees waiting in line to identify themselves.

Facial authentication is also a great tool to prevent time fraud. Employees working less than they claim to is one of the most common work ethics violations today. According to ACFE, the typical organization loses 5% of total revenue to time fraud every year.

The use cases for facial recognition are not limited to physical security; they also entail cybersecurity. Facial authentication is a more secure alternative to passwords.

  • Time savings with a smoother process
  • Cost savings with less need for staff
  • Prevents time fraud
  • Easy to integrate with other business systems

Airports: safer and more convenient traveling with facial authentication

Airports are high-security facilities where safety comes first, which is why we’ve gotten used to spending hours waiting patiently to board our flights. But imagine not having to do that, and not having to spend time in crowded areas where viruses like COVID-19 are easily transmitted? Facial authentication is a quick and smooth way to verify travelers identities, with the potential to reduce wait time at airports significantly. The process of digitally recognizing a face takes just a second or less and is way more accurate than the same process performed by a human being.

  • Improved efficiency
  • Smoother check-in and onboarding process
  • Enhanced security
  • Touch-less authentication reduces the risk of transmitting viruses

High-security facilities: facial authentication to access restricted areas

We live in a world where advanced hacking, cyber-attacks, and terrorist attacks pose a threat to public safety. In the future, facial authentication to access restricted areas will play an essential role in improving security. Adding biometrics where passwords, badges, PINs, and wristbands have traditionally been used prevents the wrong people from getting access to high-security facilities and classified information. While badges and codes can be stolen or sold, facial authentication technology is difficult to fool or manipulate.

  • Controlled access to restricted areas and facilities
  • Protects confidential information
  • No risk of identity theft or fraud


To sum things up, facial authentication speeds up and enhances identification processes in a wide range of industries. It improves public as well as individual safety in many ways, by making sure people are who they claim to be. Wherever there is a need to be sure of a person’s identity, whether it’s when getting surgery, boarding a plane, or making a payment, facial authentication eliminates the risk of human error without being intrusive. It’s also an entirely touchless verification method, making it a safe authentication tool – even in times of pandemics. Developers can use the free account for our Facial Recognition API or start with a Facial Recognition Demo.