Make Purchases With a Smile: MasterCard’s Smile to Pay System

Mastercard Wants You to Pay for Groceries With a Smile or Wave - InsideHook

MasterCard recently launched its new payment system that lets shoppers complete their payment transactions through the wave of a hand or a mere smile. This facial recognition payment technology aims to reduce lines in physical shops, heighten security, and cut short transaction times.

Currently, this new payment feature dubbed “smile to pay” is being trialed in Brazil, soon in Asia and the Middle East, and is said to be rolled out later this year according to MasterCard.

MasterCard’s program aims to provide a seamless approach for consumers while at the same time being part of the company’s attempt to penetrate the contactless biometrics technology market. 

Although this new scheme has raised data and security concerns like Amazon’s palm reading technology, MasterCard pointed out that 74% of the worldwide consumers show a positive attitude toward biometric technology.

With the long concerns about data storage, crime risks, and customer privacy raised, MasterCard recognizes this, thus giving customers the choice as to whether or not they will use the payment feature. However, it will be at the retailer’s end if they will offer the biometric system.

While waiting for this payment feature to be available, there are other payment options you can give to your customers. Talk to high-risk merchant account providers to help you find the fitting solution for your business.

How Does It Work?

The biometric system “provides customers facial recognition-based payments, by linking the biometric authentication systems of a number of third-party companies with Mastercard’s own payment systems.” 

According to MasterCard, they have already partnered with NEC, PayByFace, PayFace, PopID, Fujitsu Limited, and Aurus for the fulfillment of the program.

Initially, the company’s spokesperson said that “providers will need to go through an independent laboratory certification against program criteria to be considered.” However, the criteria are soon to be publicly available. 

Meanwhile, customers will have to install an app for their photos and payment information. These details will then be saved and stored on the third-party provider’s server.  When at the checkout, the customers’ data will be compared to the stored data for verification. Once successfully verified, the amount will be automatically deducted.

Basically, the technology is similar to the authentication technologies used on smart devices like Face ID and “smartgates”, the technology used in Australian airports to automatically process passengers.

Who Will Have Access to Biometric Data

MasterCard and partner biometrics service providers will decide who can access the data and how will they use the stored data.

With the privacy protection concern, MasterCard further added that customers’ data would be stored in encrypted form. Also, the data will be removed when the customer expresses the need to discontinue their enrollment.

The bottom line, customers who want to have access to a convenient and quick checkout process will have to consent to all the data privacy terms and conditions.

How Accurate Is This Scheme?

As of today, MasterCard has not revealed how accurate the “smile to pay” payment technology is. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the best top facial recognition algorithm has a 0.08% chance of error. But until now, MasterCard has not disclosed how accurate this payment technology is.

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