The Qatar World Cup: A Testing Ground for Dystopian “Pay-By-Face” Tech

By RECLAIM THE NET November 18, 2022

Visa, the Official Payment Technology Partner of FIFA, is set to bring what it calls “innovative” biometric payment technologies to the World Cup in Qatar, which starts on Sunday. Over one million football fans are expected to travel to Qatar for the quadrennial tournament.


Visa has installed 5,300 contactless payment terminals at the FIFA venues, making the Qatar World Cup the most payment-enabled tournament organized by FIFA. The World Cup provides Visa with a global stage to test new technologies. In Qatar, Visa will pilot several limited pilots that demonstrate the future of payments.

In Collaboration with Qatar National Bank and POP ID, Visa will allow people to pay using facial biometrics.


A physical card or smartphone app will not be required after initial enrollment.

The payments provider will also be piloting an instant digital card. After scanning a QR code, a digital prepaid card that can be stored in a mobile wallet will be issued instantly.


In a press release announcing the innovative payments, Senior Vice President and Group Country Manager for GCC at Visa, Dr. Saeeda Jaffar, said: “As FIFA’s long-standing partner, Visa wants to give football fans from around the world the best way to pay in Qatar, while experiencing exciting new innovations such as the fusion of art, football and technology at Visa’s Masters of Movement venue. With thousands of contactless payment terminals, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ promises to be the most payment-enabled FIFA tournament ever for the more than one million fans coming to enjoy the magic of football.”


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