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JP Morgan pilots palm and face-recognition technology in US

JP Morgan is testing out its biometric payment technology in selected retailer stores and at the upcoming Formula 1 Grand Prix in Miami

JP Morgan is testing out biometric-based payments with some of its business customers in the US retail sector to make payments more convenient and secure, as well as to increase take-up of loyalty programmes.

The US bank’s payments division is running the pilot with selected retail stores and will include the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Miami in May. If successful, there will be a wider roll-out of the technology in the US next year.

After enrolling, customers will be able to pay for purchases through face or palm scans without the need for a card, phone or cash.

Biometric payments schemes will also improve customer loyalty by simplifying how they build up and receive benefits. This will increase the take up of loyalty schemes.

“For merchants, the key benefits include customer sales and loyalty growth and the removal of friction from merchants’ day-to-day processes. For the customer, the payments are phone-free, private, secure, fast and simple,” said JP Morgan.

“At its heart, biometrics-based payments empower our merchant clients to deliver a better customer payment experience,” said Jean-Marc Thienpont, head of omnichannel solutions, J.P. Morgan Payments. “We are a trusted payments provider and financial institution worldwide, and fully equipped to manage the highly secure identification points that power biometrics solutions.”

He added that the changes to consumer technology have created new expectations for shoppers, and “merchants need to be ready to adapt to these new expectations”. Through its Payments Commerce Solutions strategy, the bank is offering its customers tools, including biometric payments technology, to keep pace.

At this year’s Formula 1 Grand Prix in Miami, the biometrics-based payments will be provided in a pilot to provide guests with a faster checkout experience.

Ramon Peneda, CIO of the Miami Grand Prix 2023, said: “Formula 1 prides itself on pioneering solutions and state-of-the-art technology, and being able to roll out this new biometrics-based payments scheme would enhance the race-day experience for our guests as they will enjoy a new, faster checkout process.”

Last week, US fast food chain Panera announced it is testing out technology from Amazon that enables its customers to make payments and access their loyalty programme rewards by scanning the palm of their hand.

It said the pilot of Amazon One palm scanning technology is an effort to increase engagement with its MyPanera loyalty programme.

Loyalty programmes are important to businesses in the digital age. They drive customer retention, which can help them increase revenue, referrals and growth. Organisations typically generate most of their revenue from existing customers, which requires less overhead than revenue from new customers.

Meanwhile, payments via palm scans, if popular, will further boost the increasing dominance of contactless payments.

According to UK figures from Barclays bank, more than 90% of transactions in 2022 that were eligible to be made using contactless technology were paid that way.

Read more about contactless payments

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