Mastercard is tapping into the growing biometric sector to evolve the payment journey. 

The new biometric programme looks to allow users to pay without a card, instead use just their face or their hand upon checking out. 

Launched this week, the programme builds on a first-of-its-kind technology framework to establish standards for new ways to pay at stores of all sizes, from smaller stores to major retailers. 

It comes as 74% of consumers globally have a positive attitude towards biometric technology – with the market for contactless biometrics technology projected to reach $18.6 billion by 2026.

“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.”

The banking giant revealed that it is collaborating with various partners including NEC, Payface, Aurus, PaybyFace, PopID and Fujitsu Limited to ensure the launch and scale of these types of new checkout capability around the globe, adhering 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.

The initial pilot will be launched this week in Brazil with Payface and St Marche. The pilot will see Payface’s technology implemented across five St Marche supermarkets in São Paulo. 

“We’ve been developing Payface since 2018 with a mission to help transform the way people pay – improving the experience without compromising on security,” added Eládio Isoppo, Chief Executive Officer, 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.”

Expert Analysis: The latest steps by Mastercard represent a key evolution within the payment space.It also underlines the significant potential of the firm in the metaverse as it cements a role in the growth of web3.