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Mastercard launches new technology that will allow its users to make payments using their hand or face

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Mastercard Inc (NYSE: MA) is piloting new tech that’ll allow consumers to make payments at store checkout points using their hand or face. The company has launched a new program to give shoppers the chance to use biometric payment methods, such as fingerprint scanning and facial recognition. 

Consumers can now use their hands or face to authenticate payments instead of swiping cards. The new program is already being used by five groceries stores in Brazil. Mastercard says it intends to have a global rollout of the program later this year. 

Is it practical?

The President of Mastercard’s Cyber and Intelligence department, Ajay Bhalla told CNBC:

All the research that we’ve done has told us that consumers love biometrics. They want making a payment at a store to be as convenient as opening their phone.

Juniper Research forecasts that around 1.4 billion people will be using facial recognition tech to authenticate payments by 2025, which will double the 671 million recorded in 2020. 

So how will it all work?

When you sign up on Mastercard, you’ll need to scan your fingerprint or provide a picture of your face to register with the app. You do this either at a payment terminal or on a smartphone. Next, you can then link a credit card to your biometric information. 

Amazon is trying out similar technology in the United States. 

Mastercard claims that it intends to bring this new program to Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States at a later date. The company’s vision is to ensure the global interoperability of this new tech. Mr Bhalla said, “so once you’ve stored your credentials, you could use this anywhere.”

Is the program safe?

Mastercard claims that all the information consumers provide will be encrypted in a way that’ll make sure privacy is not compromised. When you sign up and enroll, the user’s fingerprint or face will be replaced with a random set of alphanumeric characters, better known as a “token.”

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