Mastercard's Masterpass.


Mastercard has unveiled an augmented reality “retail shopping experience” that uses iris authentication to make for a more simplified and secure payment transaction.

The technology is being presented at the Money 20/20 show in Las Vegas this week. Separately, the company has launched a solution aimed at helping consumers keep track of their digital credit “footprint” and card details.

The AR initiative is prototype technology developed “as a proof of concept,” Mastercard said, adding that the Saks Fifth Avenue “brand, marks and likeness” is being used to showcase the shopping environment.

Mastercard teamed up with Osterhout Design Group and Qualcomm Inc. to allow the company’s Masterpass and Identity Check Mobile platforms to be used with iris authentication in an AR environment. The technology “delivers photo-realistic augmented reality and provides consumers the ultimate customized, security-focused shopping experience,” Mastercard said in a statement.

Sherri Haymond, executive vice president of digital partnerships at Mastercard, said the company is “seeing major shifts in how commerce is conducted, as people lead increasingly connected, digital lifestyles. As the physical and digital worlds blend together, we 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 — to help drive how people will experience shopping and payments in the future.”

Mastercard noted that AR has the potential to “reshape the retail environment, making it more immersive and efficient.” The company said the AR retail experience will not only “let shoppers view digital representations of products before they commit to a purchase, but also learn more about what they are buying, see additional options not available in the physical location and get instant recommendations or other information relevant to their unique experience.”

Once participants are done with their shopping, they can pay for items using Masterpass. Authentication is done via iris recognition technology from Qualcomm. “The shopper then selects a card from their Masterpass-enabled wallet and completes the purchase by selecting the Masterpass button on the screen,” the company said, adding that items can “be taken home from the store or shipped, depending on availability.”

The company said the prototype was created so that it “may help retailers find new ways of enhancing the in-store shopping experience and generating incremental sales by sharing relevant content and information to the shopper while they are shopping.”

Separately, Mastercard released “Mastercard Consumer Control,” which allows users to keep track of where their digital card credentials are stored. “The solution provides consumers a central view of where their cards are stored across all digital channels, as well as the ability to control how, when and where those cards are used,” the company said.

Jessica Turner, executive vice president of digital payments and labs at Mastercard, said as digital payments continue to evolve, “cardholders have more and more options to enable new types of devices for payment, and to pay in new ways online and in-app. In our ongoing commitment to deliver consumer-centric solutions, Mastercard is introducing a series of APIs that will give the consumer direct control to view where their card is stored and manage spend across all digital channels — all from right within their mobile banking app or web site.”

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