The days of credit card passwords might be drawing to a close. Mastercard is currently rolling out its Identity Check Mobile payment technology application in Europe. It uses biometrics — like fingerprints or facial recognition — to verify a cardholder’s identity, simplifying online shopping.

Initial markets include the UK, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden.

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Trials have already been held in the US, Canada and the Netherlands. Further global expansion is planned for in 2017.

Most existing identity verification methods take shoppers away from a retailer’s web site or mobile app, where they are often required to remember and enter a password. The problem for retailers is that the process can be time-consuming. Cart abandonment is a problem, as are declined transactions when passwords are incorrectly entered.

The card company said its app eliminates the need for cardholders to recall passwords, dramatically speeding up the digital checkout experience while also improving security. Cardholders can verify their identity by using the fingerprint scanner on their smartphone or via facial recognition technology by taking a “selfie” photo.

“We are relentlessly focused on making the online payment experience near frictionless, without making any compromises on safety and security,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of Enterprise Risk & Security, Mastercard.

“This is a significant milestone in the evolution of payments. Shopping in person has been revolutionised thanks to advances like contactless cards, mobile payments and wearables, and now we are making Identity Check Mobile a reality for online shopping in Europe and, soon, the world.”

The move comes after trials and research discovered European consumers prefer biometric payments to current systems that rely on passwords.

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