Mastercard's Biometric Tech Where You Can Smile or Wave to Pay is Coming Soon

The cost of groceries might be rising, but at least the payment process will get easy. Mastercard has unveiled new plans according to which customers will be able to pay by waving or smiling at the checkouts. So, you can shop even if you don't have a Mastercard with you.

Mastercard is planning to roll out the "biometric checkout program" worldwide. It plans to make this unique technology available to big and small retailers. Customers just need to confirm their identity via a mobile app to sign up for the program. Then, they will be asked to take a picture of their face or scan their fingerprints to register. Finally, they can add a credit card that's linked to their biometric data.

When it's done, a customer would be able to pay for goods or services by smiling into a camera or waving their hands over a reader to complete payment. Mastercard stated that this technology could also be connected to loyalty programs. It stated, "The new technology ensures a fast and secure checkout experience, while also empowering consumers to choose how they want to pay."

The President of Cyber and Intelligence at Mastercard, Ajay Bhalla, said "The way we pay needs to keep pace with the way we live, work and do business, offering choice to consumers with the highest levels of security. Our goal with this new program is to make shopping a great experience for consumers and merchants alike, providing the best of both security and convenience."

Mastercard also highlighted that the system would speed up transactions and lead to shorter store queues. It will also be a more hygienic option than typing a pin and would make a customer less vulnerable to fraud.

The popularity of facial recognition used for payment authentication is rising with time. According to a Juniper Research study, over 1.4 billion people will use this tech globally by 2025.

Addressing the privacy concerns, Mastercard stated that retailers wouldn't get access to customers' images or other personal data as biometric data will be encrypted and replaced with a token or a random string of characters. Mastercard is drawing on facial recognition software from US, Japan, and Brazil companies.

Explaining the benefits of the new tech, Mastercard said, "No more fumbling for your phone or hunting for your wallet when you have your hands full – the next generation of in-person payments will only need a quick smile or wave of your hand. The trusted technology that uses your face or fingerprint to unlock your phone can now be used to help consumers speed through the checkout. With Mastercard's new Biometric Checkout Programme, all you will need is yourself."

The first pilot of the new tech will be launched in a few days in Brazil with local start-up Payface's technology implementation across five St Marche supermarkets in São Paulo.

A few pilots will also be rolled out in Asia and the Middle East. It is working with several partners such as NEC, Aurus, PaybyFace, PopID, and Fujitsu.


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