MasterCard announced early October the launch of its new innovative payment solution in 12 European countries. This service is provided by a mobile app called “Identity Check Mobile” and was initially launched in the United States last February. France is not part of those pilot countries in Europe and will have the service deployed progressively in 2017.
The principle is simple: you can pay with your fingerprints or … with a selfie. In order to make sure that the selfie is a not a previously taken photo, the app asks the user to blink while taking the photo and processing the facial recognition.
“People from around the world will be regularly using this authentication technology within five years”, said Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise security solutions at MasterCard. According to him, this biometric authentication is safer than typed passwords as many people reuse their same password or use “easy-to-guess” passwords.
MasterCard won’t stop here: they are currently working on other ways to authenticate purchases, including monitoring a customer’s heartbeat. Voice recognition and iris scans are also being explored.
All this is for sure some cool stuff but that was definitely not the primarily goal of such an invention. All those new modern payment technologies aim at simplifying the payment process and increase the customer retention when checking out their shopping basket online.
MasterCard is not alone on this biometrics payment market. HSBC recently announced that their account holders could soon use their voice and fingerprints to access their money.
Here are below a few examples of other alternative payment methods.
The big advantage of the Visa NFC payment ring is that this is not using any Smart Phone to work as it uses anonymous tokens to make
Payment with Bitcoins
You surely heard of Bitcoin. But what you might not know is that Bitcoin allows businesses to take payments without incurring important transaction fees, especially when it comes to international payments. Customers buy Bitcoins on an online exchange, such as LocalBitcoins.com, and then send it to the vendor’s Bitcoin address. The Bitcoins are then instantly converted back into real currency.
You can pay with it in stores through NFC technology and the Apple Touch-ID fingerprint authentication, in-apps with Apple Pay button and now on Web sites using Safari.
When you make a purchase, Apple Pay uses a device-specific number and unique transaction code, so that your card details are never shared by Apple.
What about the future of cash ?
I personally don’t think cash will disappear due to the shadow economy that is more or less important according to countries. However, there will be for sure a major shift toward cash-less transactions.