Pretty soon, a little smile is all you’ll need to do to pay for your groceries…
Mastercard is testing a program that allows shoppers to make payments using facial recognition or fingerprint scanning. It’s underway at five grocery stores in Brazil, and Mastercard plans to debut it globally later this year.
So, how exactly does this work? It’s actually pretty simple: All customers need to do is snap a selfie or scan their fingerprint. A credit card linked to their biometric data is then created.
Mastercard believes consumers want an even easier way to checkout than swiping or inserting their card or scanning an app.
- An overwhelming majority (86%) of shoppers are interested in using biometrics to make payments, according to a Visa survey.
- Plus, the contactless biometric payments market is expected to reach $18.6 billion by 2026, Mastercard noted in its release.
“Once your competitor across the street has it, you have to have it. Knowing full well that convenience is so critical to consumers, there’s no reason to stand in line anymore in most retail stores,” Richard Kestenbaum, co-founder and partner at Triangle Capital, previously told Retail Brew.
“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.”
However, not everyone is ready to make purchases via facial recognition. In fact, about two-thirds (67%) of consumers express interest in using fingerprint scanning to make payments, as opposed to 36% who show interest in facial recognition, per the Visa survey.
Mastercard argues touchless technology will help speed up transaction times, shorten lines in shops, heighten security and improve hygiene in businesses. But it raises concerns relating to customer privacy, data storage, crime risk, and bias.
While similar face-recognition technologies used in airports by police often offer no choice, Mastercard users will be able to decide whether or not they use the biometrics checkout system.