Photo/IllutrationA man stands in front of a self-checkout machine equipped with an AI-powered facial recognition system at a Seven-Eleven Japan Co. outlet in an office building in Tokyo’s Minato Ward on Dec. 17 to test the system. (Takeshi Suezaki)

Customers who have a "million dollar face" won't have that much purchasing power at a new Seven-Eleven Japan Co. test outlet unless they make that much in a year.

Japan's largest convenience-store operator is putting on trial the ultimate convenient payment system that allows customers to pay with their face using facial recognition technology.

The small outlet, with only one staffer on duty, opened at an office building in Tokyo's Minato Ward on Dec. 17.

Customers can enter the store by passing their employee ID cards over an automatic door. After choosing their items and scanning the bar code through a self-checkout machine, customers can pay either with their employee ID cards or with their faces after being scanned by the facial recognition system.

Users are required to have a photo taken of their faces by a camera tied into the cash register in advance to utilize the system.

Once users are registered in the system, all they need to do is to show their faces to make purchases, which will be deducted from their salaries.

Seven-Eleven Japan plans to use the artificial intelligence system not only for facial recognition but also for ordering products to boost efficiency for store management. It hopes the test store will be successful to the extent that the AI technology can be utilized to develop smaller retail outlets staffed by only one employee in locations such as offices and hospitals.

Developed by NEC Corp., the facial recognition payment system is currently only available for employees of NEC-affiliated companies housed in the building.

To order inventory and keep the store stocked, AI will predict the sales volume based on various data such as sales records, weather forecasts and events held nearby.

Exploiting the AI technology, Seven-Eleven Japan also aims to reduce employees' working hours as well as dead inventory at its outlets.