Mastercard rolls out eye-scan payment pilot program in Europe

While Poland is the first European country to receive the pilot, Mastercard debuted the Biometric Checkout Program in Brazil in 2022. The technology, using a face or iris scan, will be available at five bookstores in the country.

Mastercard rolls out eye-scan payment pilot program in Europe
Mastercard
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Mastercard's biometric payment system is now available to consumers in Europe, with Poland becoming the first country to adopt the pilot program. The company said it chose Poland because of the country's high rate of biometrics adoption.

Through a partnership with local fintech company PayEye and fellow Polish company Planet Pay, Mastercard plans to debut the company at five Empik bookstores.

The selected Empik locations will feature PayEye's point of sale terminals, which uses a combination of facial and iris biometrics to make payments.

“Poland was one of the first countries where contactless payments with Mastercard cards were introduced and we know that Polish consumers are leaders in adopting innovative technologies,” said Marta Życińska, general manager Poland, Mastercard. “We’ve long believed that biometrics can deliver best-in-class experiences, balancing convenience, and security, and we look forward to scaling our program here in Poland.”

While Poland is the first European country to receive the pilot, Mastercard debuted the Biometric Checkout Program in Brazil in 2022. The company followed that up in 2023, expanding its Latin American pilot program to Uruguay and announcing plans to test the program in the Asia Pacific region.

Mastercard says the program is safe and secure, in line with the company's principles for data responsibility.

Addressing security concerns, the company told The Conversation,customers' data would be stored with the relevant biometric service provider in encrypted form, and removed when the customer ‘indicates they want to end their enrolment.’” The statement, however, highlights how the companies Mastercard partners with will largely be responsible for managing data security.

In its announcement of the Poland pilot program, the company cited its own research in saying 74% of consumers have a positive view of the technology. Other studies, meanwhile, show consumers remain skeptical of the technology.

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