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Mastercard launches program that lets you pay with a smile or wave

The company’s new biometrics program goes into testing soon.

Mastercard biometrics smile and wave features
Image: Mastercard

Mastercard is launching a new biometric payment method that will let customers make payments in stores with simple gestures, like a smile or a wave. The company is starting a pilot program in a handful of stores with plans to expand across many other regions.

The company announced its plans in a press release on its website earlier this week. Mastercard is looking to evolve the way we pay for things with technology that we’ve become familiar with.

We already use biometrics to unlock our phones with fingerprints or face scanning. However, Mastercard wants to leverage that technology to enhance the shopping experience.

“The way we pay needs to keep pace with the way we live, work and do business, offering choice to consumers with the highest levels of security,” said Ajay Bhalla, president, Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard. “Our goal with this new program is to make shopping a great experience for consumers and merchants alike, providing the best of both security and convenience.”

Mastercard is working with several companies to develop the technology, including PayFace, PopID, Aurus, and more. In fact, these companies are already established in the biometrics space, which gives Mastercard a leg up in developing its payment program.

The initial pilot program for Mastercard’s biometrics payment program launches this week in Brazil. The company is launching its program with five St Marche supermarkets in São Paulo.

Shoppers at those stores can enroll in the program through the Payface app. Then, all they need to do is smile at checkout, and they’re good to go. A program like this could potentially save tons of time in checkout lines.

Mastercard plans to expand its pilot program to other regions soon, including the Middle East and Asia. Who knows, maybe we’ll all be smiling at the checkout to pay for our groceries in the next couple of years.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at

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