Mastercard trials voice and face recognition mobile payment technology

Biometrics entering the mainstream

Mastercard says it has completed a "successful" voice and facial recognition payments trial.

The credit card firm created a beta mobile app which it tested in an "e-commerce environment on over 14,000 transactions". The closed pilot involved Mastercard employees from around the world.

Mastercard said it wanted to understand the consumer experience around voice and facial recognition using both the Android and iOS operating systems on mobile devices.

Ajay Bhalla, Mastercard president for enterprise safety and security, said of the trial, "The results were very exciting, yielding a successful verification rate of 98 percent, mixing a combination of voice and facial recognition. The process usually took less than 10 seconds."

Bhalla added, "The launch of Apple Pay last week marked a major milestone in payments technology. We are hugely proud to be part of it and we will be showcasing our wider security credentials at World Retail Congress in Paris at the end of this month."

With Apple Pay in the US, at a store, consumers can pay by holding their iPhone near a contactless reader with their finger on Touch ID, and their transaction will be authenticated. For purchases within an app, consumers touch to pay and authenticate with their fingerprint or passcode without having to enter their card number or leaving the app.

Earlier this month, Barclays said it was enabling corporate clients to authenticate transactions using finger vein recognition technology and that it planned to replace passwords and PIN numbers with biometrics for all customers in the future.

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