Mastercard is piloting new technology that lets shoppers make payments with just their face or hand at the checkout point. The company on Tuesday launched a program for retailers to offer biometric payment methods, like facial recognition and fingerprint scanning.
At checkout, users will be able to authenticate their payment by showing their face or the palm of their hand instead of swiping their card. The program has already gone live in five St Marche grocery stores in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Mastercard says it plans to roll it out globally later this year.
“All the research that we’ve done has told us that consumers love biometrics,” Ajay Bhalla, Mastercard’s president of cyber and intelligence, told CNBC. “They want making a payment at a store to be as convenient as opening their phone.” About 1.4 billion people are expected to use facial recognition technology to authenticate a payment by 2025, more than doubling from 671 million in 2020, according to a forecast from Juniper Research.
“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, president of cyber and intelligence at Mastercard, 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.”
Many retailers have adopted touchless payment technologies during the pandemic. “The outbreak of COVID-19 was the key cause for the development and acceptance of contactless biometric technologies,” KBV Research, a market research company, said in a report. The firm estimates that the global market for contactless biometrics technology will reach $18.6 billion by 2026.