Shoppers may find their experience of making payments quicker and more secure in future under plans to roll out so-called biometric technology.
Mastercard has announced that from April 2019, card users will be able to make payments using fingerprint and facial recognition technology.
This means financial providers that issue Mastercard branded cards will have to provide biometric authentication options alongside traditional PIN and password verification.
The technology will be available for contactless transactions made with mobiles in shops, as well as for transactions made online and on mobile devices.
Mastercard says the introduction of biometric security reduces digital checkout times, improves security and reduces the likelihood of a shopper giving up on a transaction.
According to the company’s research conducted alongside Oxford University, the “vast majority” (93%) of consumers prefer biometric security compared to passwords when validating payments.
Biometrics stand out in security terms as they remove the need to remember passwords or carry particular items, such as card readers.
Many smartphones now have fingerprint technology as standard, and banks such as Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank already allow users to log in their B Account app using fingerprint verification.
Other banks such as HSBC and First Direct have rolled out voice recognition technology, and with the arrival of the iPhone X last year, facial recognition is moving into the mainstream too.
Mark Barnett, president of Mastercard UK and Ireland comments: “Biometric technologies perfectly meet the public’s expectation for state-of-the-art security when making a payment.
“This will be of great benefit to everyone: consumers, retailers and banks. It will make the purchase much smoother, and instead of having to remember passwords to authenticate, shoppers will have the chance to use a fingerprint or a picture of themselves.”