Not your typical payment app

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Aaron Greenspan says he intends to change the way that we buy things. How? With FaceCash, which is a smartphone app that he created to use in place of credit cards and cash. The app works on iPhone, BlackBerry and Android smartphones.

You input your social security and driver’s license numbers and upload your picture to your mobile device. Then you input the numbers of your credit-card accounts. After that, you get an account number and a barcode.After a cashier scans the barcode, your picture pops up on the computer at the store where you’re shopping and voilá!—transaction completed. The app keeps a record of your purchases.

Like other mobile-shopping apps, FaceCash uses embedded security codes to protect personal information, Greenspan says.

One minus: You can use FaceCash only at stores that have signed up for the service. As of press time, a handful of merchants in Palo Alto, Calif. had become members. Greenspan believes FaceCash will catch on once it launches nationally, because it charges merchants only 1.5 percent to process each transaction, compared with the 3.2 percent that credit companies charge. FaceCash users who sign up via a “cloud” (Internet-based) address are charged a one-time fee of $2.99. Greenspan advises members to use a workplace or university e-mail address.