Mastercard’s New Biometric Technology Would Identify and Charge You as You Walk

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(MarketWatch) Commuters may soon be able to ditch their bus pass and access public transport with technology identifying them by the way they walk.

Mastercard MA, +1.52% is working with transport firms to develop a new system that would authenticate passengers by their gait.

The payment provider told MarketWatch that everyone has a unique walk, and it is investigating innovative behavioral biometrics such as gait, face, heartbeat and veins for cutting edge payment systems of the future.

Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence solutions for Mastercard, told MarketWatch in an interview: “We are working with transport organizations where your face or gait will authenticate you.

“The way you hold your phone, which ear you use, and how your fingers touch the buttons are all unique to you. We have been testing heartbeat, vein technology, and the way people walk to authenticate people.”

The gait technology is the most unusual. Closed-circuit television cameras would identify passengers approaching transport barriers. Once the system recognizes the individual, it would let them pass after matching them with an account that is in credit or linked to a valid payment card.

Vascular matching is another innovation Mastercard is exploring. It can identify individuals from the unique patterns of blood vessels that can be seen close to the surface of the skin.

A spokesman said: “We are looking closely at a range of modalities for biometric authentication, including gait analysis, ECG [electrocardiogram] and vein pattern to identify a user.”

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