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Palm payments more accessible with pickup from Mastercard, Amazon app

In-store biometric payments a going concern for digital payments titans
Palm payments more accessible with pickup from Mastercard, Amazon app

Major financial players have lauded the potential of palm payments, China has explored palm biometrics for transit, and major sports are embracing palm scans for payments and access control. And the modality continues to see uptake for retail applications, with payments providers and retailers shaking hands on several deals involving palm biometrics.

Shoppers in Uruguay can now pay with palm at English Store outlets

Mastercard is expanding its global biometric checkout program in Latin America with a new retail activation in Uruguay. A release says the global payments giant is partnering with Ingenico, Fulcrum Biometrics, Fujitsu Frontech and Scanntech to launch an “innovative biometric payment experience” using palm biometrics at Tienda Inglesa’s Red Expres outlets.

This is the first deployment of palm biometrics for Mastercard’s biometric checkout scheme. It aims to enable faster payment and reduce lines at checkout, and will integrate with loyalty programs. Shoppers will have the option to register their information, payment credential and biometrics in-store, which thereafter allows them to pay with a palm scan.

“Palm is one of the most secure biometrics for identifying customers and enabling a smooth and seamless payment experience,” says Arnaud Dubreuil, director of innovation for Ingenico, digital payments and e-commerce firm. “It is faster than traditional chip and pin and offers several tangible advantages, including unmatched security. We are seeing a lot of interest from merchants in the solution that we have developed with Fulcrum Biometrics.”

Although it is only mentioned in a quote from Scanntech General Manager Verónica Bustamante, the system appears to encompass palm vein biometrics. Bustamante says “due to its high level of precision in identifying individuals, palm vein technology helps merchants reduce identity theft and payment card fraud, which cause significant losses.”

It is unclear whether palm vein scans will be used in combination with traditional palm print biometrics, or exclusively.

Mastercard launched its biometric checkout program in 2022 in Brazil and has since announced plans to expand in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and elsewhere around the globe.

Amazon One app lets users scan palm veins with a mobile phone

Amazon was born of the idea that you could shop without leaving home, but the company has increased access to its Amazon One palm payments service for retail purchases by allowing users to scan their biometrics on mobile.

A post on the company’s blog says users who previously had to visit an Amazon location with a palm scanning device to register their biometrics can now do so using an app on their phone.

“The new Amazon One app lets customers create their online profile by logging into their Amazon account, taking a photo of their palm(s), and adding a payment method, all within the app,” says the post.

“When a customer who signed up for Amazon One via the app hovers their palm over an Amazon One device the first time, our AI system is able to compare and match the palm and vein imagery captured by the Amazon One device with their camera phone photo, and only at this time is enrollment considered complete.”

Amazon One scans palm surface imagery and underlying vein structure to create “a unique numerical, vector representation – called a palm signature – for identity matching.” It uses AI to compare palm signatures from the Amazon One app with palm signatures from an Amazon One device. “This allows us to confirm that the person hovering their palm over the Amazon One device is the same one who signed up for the service using the app,” the blog says.

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