Google is piloting a new biometric payment system for desktop and mobile devices. The Secure Payment Confirmation system would leverage biometric technology to speed up the payment process and increase online conversion rates.
The pilot itself is being carried out in collaboration with Stripe, which provided the 3D Secure 2.0 authentication technology for the system. As it stands, 3D Secure relies on the biometric inputs in a mobile app like Google Pay. The pilot will try to bring that utility to the Chrome browser, which would enable biometric payments on desktop computers.
The problem, according to the two companies, is that the 3D Secure fingerprint technology that is used to protect payments on mobile phones is not as secure (or as private) when transported to the browser. The pilot will attempt to overcome that hurdle with a WebAuthn to Pay system. During the enrollment phase, users will link their credit card to a secure WebAuthn credential once their card issuer has verified their identity through fingerprint recognition. After that, they will be able to use that fingerprint (and the associated WebAuthn signature) to authorize future transactions with other retailers.
The pilot program will only be available for select macOS Chrome users. Google and Stripe will use the feedback to finalize their design, and are targeting a commercial launch in the second quarter of 2021. That launch would include Windows and Android devices.
The news comes shortly after Google announced that Android users will be able to verify transactions in the Chrome browser with face and fingerprint recognition. Before that, the company introduced a similar utility for devices with Windows Hello capabilities.