Embracing the future of payments with Stanchion’s Biometric Checkout Initiative

Stores that enrol in the Mastercard Biometric Checkout Program offer customers the option to sign up for their biometric checkout services either in store or at home, via an identity provider app.

Stores that enrol in the Mastercard Biometric Checkout Program offer customers the option to sign up for their biometric checkout services either in store or at home, via an identity provider app.

Biometric Checkout, the next step in the evolution of payments, is here – replacing authentication credentials with something truly unique and completely secure. Passwords and PINs are substituted with physical attributes that cannot be stolen or forged. Forget bank cards, mobile phones and wearables, all customers need to do when making a payment is to smile or wave – it’s really that simple!

“Customers are always looking for faster and more convenient ways of shopping and it is important that retailers keep pace with the way consumers want to live, work, shop and conduct business,” says Shaun Hulley, Stanchion’s Director of Global Sales Engineering. Since the pandemic, there has been a significant increase in consumers who desire safer and quicker touchless payment options, and biometric checkout ensures that merchants can meet customers’ expectations, using trusted technology that uses face recognition or fingerprints – a similar method to what billions of consumers use to unlock their mobile phone every day. “As drivers of payment innovation who empower our clients to embrace and fulfil changing consumer behaviour, Stanchion is looking forward to playing an important role in enabling clients to make biometric checkouts a key part of their offering.”

Reshaping the payments industry

Last year, Mastercard launched its first-of-kind Biometric Checkout Program, working with partners like Payface and NEC to roll out various pilot projects. According to research, 74% of customers have a positive attitude towards biometric technology, and Mastercard says the market for contactless biometrics technology is projected to reach $18.6 billion by 2026.

“Mastercard’s Biometric Checkout Program is the first of its kind to provide a global framework for enabling biometric checkout solutions, opening the ecosystem up for a variety of participants beyond the proprietary solutions employed by pioneers like Amazon,” says Hulley.

Stores that enrol in the Mastercard Biometric Checkout Program offer customers the option to sign up for their biometric checkout services either in store or at home, via an identity provider app. Once enrolled, checkout is as simple as smiling into a camera at the point-of-sale or placing their hand over a reader to confirm the payment. This method is as secure and any contactless mobile wallet (like Apple Pay) but offers more convenience.

What about security?

The program outlines the standards for banks, merchants and technology providers to adhere to, ensuring that the highest standards for security and privacy of personal data are maintained when people pay using biometrics.

“All Biometric Service Providers (BSP) are required to undertake certification with Mastercard to ensure their solutions and systems are secure,” says Hulley “In addition, all BSPs typically provide a level of assurance that their solution provides a confidence level in matching biometric information with a specific user, preventing impersonation. BSPs also embed various other capabilities, such as liveness detection to enhance their offerings and further reduce the risk of fraudsters being able to circumvent their authentication solutions.”

Adding up the benefits

With biometric checkout, the payment is fast and secure and benefits both the customer and merchant. “Simplicity and speed of checkout along with added security are the key wins for customers, plus the increased convenience with no need to carry a card or phone and reduced friction – it is a seamless, intuitive and positive point-of-sale experience. There is also no need for customers to carry loyalty cards or coupons as these can be added to their wallet digitally and automatically retrieved during checkout,” says Hulley.

Merchants will see the benefits too, with shorter checkout queues owing to less friction and reduced fraud thanks to biometric protection and tokenisation. It is also a key approach merchants can offer consumers an enriched shopping experience giving them the opportunity to engage customers through integrated loyalty offerings or coupons in their digital wallet.

Embracing innovation through Stanchion

With its teams of payments experts in offices across five continents plus a wealth of global experience supporting alternative payment methods and enabling banks and businesses to offer leading edge payments solutions, Stanchion is well equipped and perfectly positioned to offer biometric authentication solutions to its global network of merchant-acquiring customers.

“Stanchion will be integrated into Mastercard’s Biometric Checkout Program as a Payment System Integrator, partnering with one or more Biometric Service Providers (BSPs) to jointly deliver biometric checkout solutions to merchants and acquiring institutions,” says Hulley. “In the role as a Payment Services Integrator, Stanchion will be responsible for linking the user’s biometric template with the card token generated by Mastercard, this token is a virtual representation of the user’s underlying funding card. The result is that the payment token will be retained for subsequent use when payments are initiated by the user presenting him/herself for checkout. At the point-of-sale, a biometric reader will capture the user’s biometric information and submit it for validation against their stored biometric credential that was created during enrolment, and upon successful validation, the linked card token will be submitted to the bank for authorisation of the payment.”

Stanchion already has a proven track record in the MDES Token Provisioning and Lifecycle Management space, with 16 clients around the world choosing Stanchion’s platform and five who are currently using TLCM, including Kiwibank and Banzpay in New Zealand, Heritage Bank and Greater Bank in Australia, and Saudi Arabia Investment Bank.

“Stanchion’s expertise includes integration with network TSPs and issuer ecosystems to support token provisioning – including cardholder authentication – activation, push provisioning, card/token life-cycle events and reminders, and token/device binding from an issuer perspective. Plus, tokenisation is supported across all major OEM mobile wallets – including Apple, Google and Samsung – and card-on-file merchants,” says Hulley.

To survive and thrive, it is essential that merchants and acquiring institutions are equipped and ready to embrace innovation in the ever-evolving payments landscape. “At Stanchion our capability is built on over 20 years’ experience solving complex payment problems for clients spread across five continents,” says Hulley. “Biometric checkout is an exciting new innovation, and as a leading PayTech solution provider that is committed to powering payment change, we look forward to helping to deliver this new technology to our clients and their customers.”

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