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Mastercard’s Biometric Checkout Program arrives in Europe

Piloting biometric retail payments in Poland with PayEye
Mastercard’s Biometric Checkout Program arrives in Europe

Mastercard is rolling out its biometric retail payments for the first time in Europe. The company will be piloting its Biometric Checkout Program in Poland in collaboration with local fintech company PayEye which will provide its iris and face biometric technology.

From June 10th, shoppers will be able to pay by scanning their irises in five stores across Poland owned by bookstore chain Empik. Another partner in the scheme is Planet Pay.

The stores will be equipped with PayEye’s eyePOS terminals. The process requires precise calibration to avoid the risk of accidentally looking at the terminal and paying, the company says in a release. The eyePOS 3 terminal, which uses a fusion of facial and iris biometrics, received its Payment Card Industry (PCI) certification last year.

“We believe that payments with a glance are a global solution which, regardless of the latitude, provides the highest level of safety, user comfort and an amazing user experience,” says PayEye CEO Daniel Jarząb.

Mastercard started rolling out its Biometric Checkout Program in 2022 in Brazil where it launched a “pay by smile” facial recognition payment scheme with Brazil’s Payface. Last year, the company announced an expansion of the program to the Asia Pacific region, where it teamed up with NEC, and launched its second pilot in Latin America earlier this June. More global pilots are planned for later this year.

The global payments giant says it chose Poland as its first European country to pilot the program because of its receptiveness to new technologies. According to their survey, four out of five Polish people say that they use or have used biometric technology while among the 18–25-year-olds category, almost all are familiar with using biometrics.

“Poland was one of the first countries where contactless payments with Mastercard cards were introduced and we know that Polish consumers are leaders in adopting innovative technologies,” says Marta Życińska, Mastercard’s general manager for Poland.

The pilots will be conducted in five stores in Warsaw, Wrocław, Kraków, Poznań and Czeladź. Empik has over 350 stores across Poland.

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