Global payments giant Mastercard and NEC Corporation, the Japanese multinational information technology and electronics corporation, have joined forces to advance in-store biometric payments by introducing the Biometric Checkout Programme in the Asia Pacific region.
Mastercard explained that the biometric technology that uses your face to unlock your electronic devices could soon be used to help consumers speed through in-store checkouts thanks to the new strategic payment partnership with NEC.
NEC signed a memorandum of understanding which will see it implement its face recognition and liveness verification technology, alongside Mastercard’s payment enablement and optimized user experience to drive global scale.
Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence solutions at Mastercard, explained: “As retailing environments continue to evolve and choices in ways to pay rapidly expand, biometric solutions offer a seamless, quick and secure checkout, without needing to unlock a phone or insert a PIN.
“This partnership with NEC will enable us to bring exciting new biometric payments to customers in countries across Asia Pacific and lead the world in safe and convenient checkout experiences.”
According to Mastercard’s Biometric Checkout Programme consumer research from 2022, 82 per cent of consumers in Asia Pacific use at least one form of biometrics already, with the average consumer reporting they use three types.
Likewise, many businesses are already embracing biometric authentication. By 2025, biometrics will authenticate over $3trillion in payment transactions.
Providing ‘a new payment experience’
The Mastercard Biometric Checkout Programme, which launched with a pilot in Brazil last year, plans to transform payment in-store with consumers simply smiling or waving to pay.
The programme provides participants with a framework that addresses security, biometric performance, data protection and privacy requirements, for financial institutions, merchants, and technology providers within the ecosystem. NEC is an early enrollee of the programme.
Takao Iwai, corporate senior vice president and managing director of financial solutions at NEC Corporation, also added: “By utilising NEC’s world-class face recognition technology, the new payment system will provide both security and convenience.
“By collaborating with Mastercard, which has payment assets used around the world, NEC will provide a new payment experience, aiming to create a world where everyone can use digital technology with safety.”
Merchants can benefit from shorter lines, increased security and more hygienic conditions. They can also integrate loyalty programmes into the checkout system, for faster more tailored offers at purchase as part of any successful business strategy.
In the future, biometrics could play a significant role in helping merchants build a more engaging relationship with their customers while driving sales.