Mastercard pushes its way into the metaverse with facial recognition rollout

Mastercard pushes its way into the metaverse with facial recognition rollout
Published - May 18, 2022 @ 2:18 PM (EET)

Mastercard (NYSE:MA) announced Tuesday it is testing new facial recognition methods to do away with actual credit cards as part of a push toward doing business in the metaverse.

The company will use its Biometric Checkout Program, which allows shoppers to scan their faces to authenticate payments using a retailer's smartphone app without using their own devices or memorable PINs.

In a statement, Ajay Bhalla, Mastercard's president of cyber and intelligence, said,
"the way we pay needs to keep pace with the way we live, work and do business, offering choice to consumers with the highest level of security."

The technology gears toward shorter checkout times, faster transactions, and improved hygiene, Bhalla said, with trials for the news payment options set to kick off at five supermarkets in Brazil today.

Turning to hardware, Mastercard is collaborating with firms, including NEC Corp. and Fujitsu General Ltd, with plans to roll out globally later this year.

Further pilots across regions include Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

According to Bhalla, Mastercard ultimately envisions customers being able to access their profiles and payment details instantly from anywhere, making the system "globally interoperable."

With Mastercard establishing itself in the growing metaverse world, the company further intends to link stored payment profiles with users' individual NFTs (non-fungible tokens) that act as proof of ownership online.


A forecast published by Juniper Research expects about 1.4 billion people to use facial recognition technology to authenticate a payment by 2025, more than doubling from 671 million in 2020.

The technology is similar to Amazon's palm-scanning payment system, Amazon One, allowing shoppers to pay for items by placing their palms over a scanning device. Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) also has a system in its physical stores in the U.S. and U.K that uses in-store cameras to track what shoppers put in a basket and charges them on exiting.

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