Making Your Face Pay

Biometric authentication could secure over $2.5 trillion in mobile transactions by 2024 if things carry on as they are.

Obviously Apple Pay users can already use Face ID to authorize transactions and have done for years.

Mastercard has teamed up with developer PayFace to kick off a trial of a new biometric payment system at five supermarkets in Brazil. Interestingly the US has taken a step back from the use of facial recognition in retail, but other countries could make biometric payments commonplace over the next few years

“When the pandemic happened consumers all over the world asked us for facial recognition as part of their retail experiences.” said Mastercard Cyber & Intelligence President Ajay Bhalla

More than 100 million Chinese people currently use facial recognition tech to pay for subway rides and convenience store items.

The Trial & Other Easy pay Systems

Mastercard’s biometric payment network trial is underway. Customers scan their faces with the store’s mobile device, which matches their face to a payment card that is kept on file. After a successful trial in Brazil, Mastercard will partner with NEC and Fujitsu to bring biometric payment systems to the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

Amazon of course have their own plans to effect retailers experiences with both biometric systems [Amazon One} but also convenience payment with their pick-up and walk out technology. They will be rolling out biometric payment systems across 10,000 Whole Foods stores by 2026.

“Amazon One is all about making everyday activities, like paying at a store, easier and more convenient for customers,” commented Thi Luu, director of product management for Amazon physical retail technology.

Whole Foods stores. Leandro Balbinot, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Whole Foods, “We are always looking for new ways to satisfy and delight our customers and offer convenient options to improve the shopping experience.”

Moving out of the store environment and into experience venues, the world’s largest event producers have launched their own cardless payment system ‘PopPay’ for use at their venues.

The Potential Dangers

Researchers have found that biometric authentication methods used by banks and crypto exchanges can be fooled with deep fake technology. So thorough testing and security is a serious concern. Currently deepfake detection is being researched, but so far it has been demonstrated deepfake technologies can bypass automated “liveness tests” by using AI-generated faces.

Convenience is king however and the desire by consumers to cut down the inconvenience of payment will triumph – so we will be watching carefully how the cyber security teams test and ensure safety for us all.

Consumers in the western world will now have to choose between convenience and privacy over the next few years.