Financial, credit companies boost biometric transactions where customers may pay with their faces

The technology, which has long been normalized in China and other Asian countries, is growing in popularity on this side of the Pacific, namely among younger generations.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
Customers at a number of retailers and restaurants across the United States may soon be paying with their faces, as biometric transaction companies partner with major financial and credit companies to make the option more readily available.

The technology, which has long been normalized in China and other Asian countries, is growing in popularity on the other side of the Pacific, namely among younger generations.

According to American Banker, in 2023 JPMorgan Chase partnered with PopID, a California-based biometrics technology company. Following pilot programs at the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix and JPMorgan's own office cafeteria, the financial giant has revealed that it is set to roll out a "biometric authentication system" at a selection of American stores as early as 2025.

JPMorgan's executive director of biometrics and identity solutions, Prashant Sharma, has attempted to convince the American consumer base that they needn't worry about impersonation attempts.

"Our technology can detect the difference between a photo or video and a real person," he said. "If we feel it isn't the real user, we'll stop the transaction."

Sharma pointed out that, "people can steal your card, but they can't steal your face or palm, and since biometric payments are in-store transactions, it's very difficult for someone to impersonate someone else."

As CNBC reports, Juniper Research has forecasted growth of over 100 percent in the biometric payments sector between 2024 and 2028, with a recent PYMENTS survey finding that Gen Z is far more willing to let companies use their biometric data.

JPMorgan Chase is not the only big player jumping on the trend. Mastercard has partnered with Japanese technology company NEC to bring biometric transactions to Asia, with expansion to more markets planned for later this year.

"Our focus on biometrics as a secure way to verify identity, replacing the password with the person, is at the heart of our efforts in this area," said Dennis Gamiello, Mastercard's executive vice president of identity products and innovation.

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