US-based First Tech Federal Credit Union is working with MasterCard to test out biometric authentication for online transactions. Over 200 of the credit union’s employees will take part in a pilot program during September and October.
The test will see the use of smartphone-based facial and fingerprint recognition to authenticate digital transactions, which will revolve around virtual donations to Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals. While the companies were keen to emphasize their support for CMN Hospitals in a press release, the this pilot project will be performed with artificial funds, so donations will be purely fictitious, primarily aiding the development of the Selfie Pay system.
The program the product of a forward-thinking approach to new technological innovations that has seen First Tech become one of the pioneering credit unions to introduce chip-and-PIN payment cards, which are relatively novel in the US. In a statement, First Tech CEO Greg Mitchell explained that the credit union caters to “some of the most technologically focused consumers on the planet, and being an innovator in the payments security space is evidence of our strong desire to meet our members’ unique needs.”
Meanwhile, MasterCard SVP Catherine Murchie cited recent survey data from MasterCard noting that “83 percent of consumers are excited about new secure technologies helping to protect their financial information.” The company has indeed been keen to find out what consumers think about emerging payment and security technologies, and has accordingly invested heavily in advanced security technologies such as biometric authentication and tokenization. First Tech, for its part, is getting ahead of the game in joining other pioneering financial institutions at the forefront of mPayments.