- Following other fintech companies and retailers experimenting with biometrics, Mastercard announced Tuesday that it is introducing a biometric checkout program. The card issuer is working with NEC, Aurus, PaybyFace, PopID and Fujitsu Limited to deploy the tool internationally and protect the data collected.
- Consumers will be able to review their bill and smile into a camera or wave their hand over a reader to pay. Mastercard is first piloting the program in Brazil and later plans to test out the feature in the Middle East and Asia, per the announcement.
- The program outlines standards for financial institutions and tech companies to secure the data and keep customer information private. Merchant participants in the program can offer consumers biometric checkout services in a store or online through an app.
Mastercard, the second-biggest card network company after Visa, is pitching the new program as a more hygienic, secure payment method for merchants. The service also allows for loyalty program integrations and personalized product recommendations for consumers, according to the May 17 press release.
“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,” Ajay Bhalla, Mastercard's president of cyber and intelligence, said in a statement. “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.”
PopID's involvement in the program comes as the company is raising funds to expand its reach. The Pasadena, California-based startup aims to raise $50 million to grow its business after already luring $25 million. PopID took its technology a step further Thursday, saying in a press release that consumers in the Bahamas can use the face verification technology to pay for purchases with that country's central bank digital currency, called Sand Dollars.
Meanwhile, as Mastercard and other fintechs develop biometric payment tools, some retailers have already experimented with them in stores.
In 2020, Amazon debuted Amazon One, a biometric authentication feature that lets users pay for their purchases using the palm of their hand. The e-commerce giant uses its vision technology to match shoppers with their user accounts. Last month, its sister retailer Whole Foods rolled out Amazon One in stores in Austin, Texas.
But as financial technology companies and retailers integrate biometric technology in their operations, they must also contend with local consumer protection regulations. According to Reuters, California, Washington, Illinois and Texas each have their own biometric laws as does New York City.