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E-Payments in Cars with “Selfies” Facial Recognition and Fingerprints, Oh Boy!

E-Payments in Cars with Selfies and fingerprints, Oh Boy!

The sad truth is we currently live in a world where everyone wants to get paid, and fast; so Freshbooks, Visa and Mastercard are working towards making E-payments occur as fast as humanly possible.  So how are all these quick transactions of currency going to happen?  Let’s first take a look at what Freshbooks is up to.  Founded in Toronto back in 2003 as a cloud based accountancy software, they’ve moved into the credit card reader business to accept cards through a smartphone.  They announced it back in December and have tested it with invite only customers for a limited time.  Their $29 reader is a direct competitor for Jack Dorsey’s Square which went public 3 months ago.

The reader unit that plugs directly into an iPhone’s audio jack and is designed to help freelancers and small-business owners go “cash-free” by accepting most common bank payment cards.  However, the card reader integrates with FreshBooks broader software offering, meaning that merchants’ invoices and financial reports will be synced in real time when each payment is processed.  In addition to the $29, merchants will be charged 2.7 percent + $0.30 for each Visa and MasterCard transaction, and 3.4 percent + $0.30 for American Express (AMEX). The reader will accept both the new security-focused EMV chip cards and the older magnetic-stripe bank cards.

For right now FreshBooks’ card reader will only work on iPhones but Android is right around the corner, most likely later this year.

Now we all know about the selfie sickness sweeping the world but Mastercard is actually trying to take advantage of it as E-Payments. 

MasterCard is set to roll-out both facial recognition and fingerprint payment authorization.  Pay by Selfie.  MasterCard’s move towards biometric payment follows a study it ran over the course of six months, with participants using fingerprint or facial verification. 75 % believed that biometric payments would decrease fraud, 77 % indicated that they wanted to continue using a fingerprint and/or facial recognition to complete payments; and nine out of ten indicated that they would like to replace their password with biometric identification definitively.

While the typical uniqueness of our faces and fingerprints may make them seem inherently secure, they are just transformed into a password by a computer.

This means that biometric data is open to being stolen and losing it has the potential to really screw up your life more so than if someone simply found out a password that can later be changed. MasterCard says the pilot has led to commercial interest from around the world and that it plans to launch the technology in the US, Canada and parts of Europe later this year.

Well right on the tail of this news, Visa is making it possible to pay for things using in-car apps. Like mobile and in-car payments, selfie- and fingerprint-authorized payments are focused, in part, on providing convenience and they give the perception of security.  Launched back in 2014, the Visa Token Service provides a means of authorizing payments without exposing the details on bank and credit cards.

The firm has opened up its Visa Token Service to carmakers, meaning drivers will soon be able to pay for things like fuel from the comfort of their car.  Working with Honda, Visa developed a fuel app that integrates with the vehicle’s head unit and is able to detect when the car is low on fuel and provide directions to a gas station. Once the car is parked next to a pump, the app is able to work out exactly how much fuel is required and calculate the cost of fuel accordingly.

On an in car display the driver can send payment for the fuel via the app, which features Visa’s online payment service. Then there is also an app developed with parking space finder and booking called ParkWhizz, which tracks the amount of time a user’s car has been parked at one of ParkWhizz’s partner locations and allows the driver to pay only for that time.  The elapsed time and cost are shown on the in-car display and the driver can press a button to make the payment.

The apps are to be tested in the US over three-month periods starting shortly. Visa says it has also been working on technologies aimed at expanding the use of mobile payments, such as new standards for Bluetooth and QR codes.

So what does this all mean?  It means that companies won’t stop until you just throw your money at them, because giving away your money will be as easy as blinking and breathing.  You won’t realize any exchanges are happening at all since every monetary transaction will be as smooth as butter.

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