Money20/20: Mastercard Introduces AR Shopping with Biometric Security

Together with Qualcomm Technologies and Osterhout Design Group (ODG), Mastercard has developed an augmented reality shopping system for its Masterpass and Identity Check systems. The solution lets shoppers look at virtual items and information in real-world environments, and purchase them with biometric verification.

As demonstrated at this week’s Money20/20 event in Las Vegas, the system operates through smartglasses designed by ODG. Walking through a real retail environment, the wearer can see virtual items for sale that aren’t there physically, and can view digital product information for various items. And the shopper can buy an item through the wearable device thanks to Masterpass, Mastercard’s cross-channel digital wallet. Meanwhile, Qualcomm’s iris scanning technology, operating through Mastercard’s Identity Check biometric authentication system, verifies the user’s identity in order to confirm the purchase.

It all may seem a bit frilly to consumers who like to touch and feel their clothes, for example, before buying them; but in many instances retailers may appreciate the opportunity to display a perfectly arranged, flawless virtual product for shoppers to consider rather than a worn display item. And for Mastercard, it’s an initiative that is aimed at adapting to evolving consumer habits. As Mastercard Digital Partnerships EVP Sherri Haymond explained in a statement announcing the concept, Mastercard’s administrators are “seeing major shifts in how commerce is conducted, as people lead increasingly connected, digital lifestyles,” and as such they are “focused on developing solutions that provide merchants with the ability to accept payments across all technology platforms possible—in-store, in-app, online, and in AR and VR”.

Mastercard is showcasing the technology from booth #1705 at Money20/20, which concludes on October 25th.