• ZDNet reports that "the next few years will see billions of users regularly using facial recognition technology to secure payments made through their smartphone, tablets or smartwatches, according to new analysis carried out by Juniper Research.
"Smartphone owners are already used to staring at their screens to safely unlock their devices without having to dial in a secret code; now, facial recognition will increasingly be deployed to verify the identity of a user making a payment with their handset, whether that's via an app or directly in-store, in wallet mode … In addition to facial features, Juniper Research's analysts predict that a host of biometrics will be used to authenticate mobile payments, including fingerprint, iris and voice recognition.
"Biometric capabilities will reach 95% of smartphones globally by 2025, according to the researchers; by that time, users' biological characteristics will be authenticating over $3 trillion-worth of payment transactions -- up from $404 billion in 2020."
• CNBC reports that "Taco Bell will open its first digital-only U.S. restaurant on Wednesday in New York’s Times Square.
"To buy a Crunchwrap Supreme or soft taco, customers will have to place a digital order ahead of their visit or use one of the 10 self-order kiosks inside the restaurant. The kiosks can also be used to buy Taco Bell souvenirs. The location, inside the iconic Paramount Building, also features a separate entrance for mobile and delivery order pick-up from cubbies."
The format, at the corner of 43rd Street and 7th Avenue, is believed to be ideal for a Time Square customer base that in normal times would be enormous; "Times Square is usually one of the city’s busiest tourist hotspots, with an estimated 50 million visitors every year."