Launch of a Pilot Test for Facial Recognition Payment on Public Transportation in Nagano Prefecture：
Experience Hands-Free Travel with a Japan-first Technology！
May 10, 2023
Marubeni Corporation (hereinafter, “Marubeni”) has launched the first pilot test in Japan for payment using facial recognition, whereby facial recognition technology is linked with a mobile app-based prepaid card. The test starts from May 10, 2023, on a section of the Nagano-Matsumoto express bus route operated by Alpico Transportation Co., Ltd. (hereinafter, “Alpico Transportation”) .
Marubeni has focused on facial recognition technology, which has recently seen significant improvements in accuracy, as part of its response to the trend in recent years of transition to a contactless and cashless society. The company’s efforts to develop a facial recognition payment platform which connects facial recognition technology and payment functions are intended to help address various social issues and contribute to the enhancement of user convenience.
For this pilot test, the facial recognition payment platform was developed by Marubeni Network Solutions Co., Ltd. (hereinafter, “M-Nets”), R.D.Works Co., Ltd. (hereinafter, “R.D.Works”) and Aplus Co., Ltd. (hereinafter, “Aplus”). More details of the part played by the companies in the pilot can be found in the Company Roles table below.
Marubeni has previously conducted pilot tests using facial recognition technology for stadium entrance and university attendance and confirmed its high accuracy. In this pilot test, the faces of users who have pre-registered their facial data will be identified in the fixed-fare section of the route, and the payment will be automatically deducted from the individual's app-based prepaid card. Marubeni will then confirm the successful integration and operation of the payment process. Based on the results of this pilot test, Marubeni aims to commercialize facial recognition payment at an early stage not only for public transportation but also in other sectors where there is a high demand for hands-free services.
Users will be required to download, install, register, and charge the app-based prepaid card in advance. When boarding the bus, users only need to briefly look at the tablet device installed in the vehicle for facial recognition, eliminating the need to take out a smartphone or cash. This allows fare settlement even if both hands of users are occupied, or if they have forgotten a smartphone or do not have any cash on their person. For more details on the pilot test, please visit our website at https://www.marubeni-network.com/kaoninsho-alpico/.
|Nagano-Matsumoto Express Bus
|1.Nagano Area ⇔ Nagano Highway Azumino
2.Nagano Area ⇔ Matsumoto Interchange Front, Matsumoto Bus Terminal,Matsumoto Joint Gov. Building
|May 10, 2023 - July 14, 2023
Note: The duration and target routes may change depending on the progress of the trial.
Note: Face recognition payment cannot be used outside the target sections.
Note: For information about the target routes, please visit the Alpico Transportation website at https://www.alpico.co.jp/en/.
|Project oversight and business feasibility study
|Operation of buses equipped with facial recognition payment technology
|Development of facial recognition payment technology platform
|Development of facial recognition technology
|Development of payment function
|Alpico Transportation Co., Ltd.
|2-1-1 Igawa Castle, Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture
|1. Railways business
2. Bus service business
3. Charter bus business
4. Travel business
5. Food & retail business (service area business)
6. Real estate business
7. Advertising business
|Marubeni Network Solutions Co., Ltd.
|2-11-5 Shibaura, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Igarashi Building
|1. Network outsourcing business
2. Mobile network business
3. Operation services business
|R.D.Works Co., Ltd.
|4-20-3 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Yebisu Garden Place tower 18F
|1. Consultation of strategy, finance, supply chain and technology
2. Providing system integration and an AI platform
3. Domestic sales agent for the facial recognition product, “Saffe”
|Aplus Co., Ltd.
|2-4-3 Nihonbashi-Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Nihonbashi Muromachi Nomura Building
|1. Shopping credit business
2. Card business
3. Payment business