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Payments with a smile.  Mastercard project faces criticism

Payments with a smile. Mastercard project faces criticism

American payment company Mastercard has launched a pilot project in which its card holders will be able to authorize payments by fingerprint or a smile. US media reported that MasterCard has placed the first five of these systems in supermarkets in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

According to the company, there is a high demand among payment card holders for the use of biometric data in payments. At the same time, these technologies face criticism from the Organization for the Protection of Personal Data and Human Rights due to concerns about the collection and processing of highly sensitive personal data.

Thanks to the technologies that the pilot project is testing, payment card holders will be able to authorize their payments in stores using a fingerprint or a photo of their face. For example, it is enough to smile at the device to pay for the purchase.

To use this payment method, cardholders will first need to enter their biometrics data through a dedicated app and associate it with a specific payment card. Thus, MasterCard will store in its databases data that analysts consider sensitive. The company said that it has developed a number of procedures and standards to ensure the high protection of this information.


“All the research we’ve done has shown that consumers love biometric data,” said Ajay Bhalla, Head of Cyber ​​Security. He added that up to 70 percent of customers want to be able to pay for a purchase using their biometric data.

Mastercard pilot project launched in Brazil. If the technology proves successful, it envisages its introduction in the USA, Europe or the Middle East.

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Other companies are introducing similar technologies. For example, Amazon has installed practical devices in some of its stores. However, the system has raised concerns among a group of US senators about the chain’s handling of its customers’ data.