Dermot Desmond firm Daon signs software deal with Mastercard

Company will provide technology for transaction security system known as ‘selfie pay’

Dermot Desmond's biometrics company Daon has announced it is providing software for Mastercard's Identity Check fingerprint and facial recognition transaction security system, commonly known as "selfie pay".

The company, with offices in the United States and Dublin’s International Financial Services Centre, says it has struck an agreement for the global credit card company to utilise Daon’s IdentityX platform. The software is used in conjunction with fingerprints and photographs captured via smartphone to authenticate online payments by Mastercard.

The credit card company developed the system last year, and has begun a soft rollout in recent months with projects in Holland and the US. Major US banks will be able to offer the system to credit card customers from the middle of this year, Mastercard has said, with a global rollout in 2017.

Daon’s biometric technology is already widely used in airports and at borders around the world. Last year, it won a contract for passport kiosks in Dublin Airport.


It is also involved in developing a facial recognition system for Atom, a UK digital bank launching this year. Atom will use the same software as supplied to Mastercard.

"Daon is dedicated to sharing this journey with Mastercard to provide cardholders with an easy, convenient and secure way to assert their identity online," said Tom Grissen, Daon's chief executive.

Mastercard said consumer trials utilising Daon's software showed users preferred authenticating transactions using biometrics over passwords. "We look forward to rolling out Identity Check this summer in the US, Canada and the UK," said Bob Reany, the firm's executive vice-president for identity solutions.

Daon has unlimited status and does not file publicly available financial statements. Mr Desmond has in the past declared it to be among the best investments he has made.

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times