Mastercard launches Biometric Checkout Program in the UAE

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. Customers can use the trusted technology that uses your fingerprint or face to unlock their phone to speed up the checkout process. With Mastercard’s new Biometric Checkout Program, all you will need is yourself.

The program is part of a global launch that was announced earlier today. It represents a first of its kind technology framework to help establish minimum standards to allow customers to pay in new ways at all sizes of stores, including major retailers and mom-and-pop shops. The program defines a set of standards banks, merchants, and technology providers follow to ensure privacy and security of personal data when people use biometric payment.

Globally 74% of consumers view biometric technology positively. By 2026, the market for contactless technology in biometrics is expected to be $18.6 Billion.

“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,” said Ajay Bhalla, president, Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard. “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.”

Transformation of the checkout experience

Participants in Mastercard’s Biometric Checkout Program offer consumers the option to conveniently enroll into their biometric checkout services, in store or at home, through a merchant or identity provider app. There is no need for consumers to dig through their bags or pockets as they wait in the checkout line. Consumers can simply scan the bill and pay by waving their hand to a reader. This new technology allows consumers to make payments in their own way, while ensuring a quick checkout process.

The benefits for merchants are also significant. They can get faster transaction times, shorter lines and better hygiene, and they will be more secure. Integration of loyalty programs and personalized recommendations can help consumers find the products they are interested in by using the payments system.

Mastercard is working with partners including Payface, Aurus, PaybyFace, PopID and Fujitsu to ensure the launch and scale of these types of new checkout capability around the globe, leveraging Mastercard’s network of over 90M locations, adhere to an overarching framework of minimum standards, specifications and guidelines that address security, biometric performance level, and data protection in the context of in-store biometric payments.

Payface and St Marche have launched the first pilot in Brazil. The pilot will see Payface’s technology implemented across five St Marche supermarkets in Sao Paolo. Payface allows consumers to register their face and pay information via the Payface app. Once registered, they can just smile to pay at the check-out without using a card or mobile phone. Future pilots are planned to roll out in Asia and Middle East.

“We’ve been developing Payface since 2018, with a mission to help transform the way people pay – improving the experience, without compromising on security”, said Eládio Isoppo, chief executive office, Payface. “This partnership with Mastercard is a welcome step forward for us and will enable our technology to be used by more merchants and consumers, making shopping easier and bringing the joy of a smile to payments.”

A legacy of innovation and rich heritage

Biometric Checkout is Mastercard’s next step to support the evolution of payments, alongside a suite of recent innovations, such as Shop Anywhere, Enhanced Contactless (ECOS) and Cloud Point of Sale, which have been rolled out to provide consumers and merchants with frictionless, flexible and secure in-store experiences.

Mastercard has long pioneered biometrics – instore and online – as a secure way to verify identity, replacing the password with the person. The effort builds upon the EMVCo 3DS standard and allows people to shop with biometric-powered payment cards and devices. It was also featured in confirming online shoppers’ identities through “selfie pay” and online leveraging key standards such as FIDO (Fast Identity Online).

Mastercard is helping to ensure the highest standards of privacy and security for all stakeholders as this technology continues to be adopted around the world. The Biometric Checkout Program is governed by Mastercard’s principles for data responsibility, reinforcing that consumers have the right to control how their personal data is shared and benefit from its use.

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