Selfies or Fingerprints Via App To Be Accepted By Mastercard
Mastercard announced at the Mobile World Congress tech show in Barcelona this week that from this summer it will be accepting selfies or fingerprints as an alternative to passwords to verify IDs for online payments.
Cutting Fraud : Biometrics Compared to Passwords
As well as the notion that biometric security measures are likely to be more effective at cutting fraud, the system has been developed because consumers are known to dislike having to use passwords. The most common password for example is 123456 which is likely to be relatively easy for determined fraudsters to obtain.
Early research by Mastercard has shown that not only is the system likely to provide high levels of security but it is preferred to passwords by 92% of subjects who have been involved in Mastercard’s tests of the system.
Summer Roll-Out in the UK
The roll-out for the system is reported to be taking place in the UK this summer as well as in the US and Canada plus across Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark.
Not A Replacement For Normal Security Measures Yet
The new selfie / fingerprint verification system will not, however, be replacing the normal Mastercard verification system just yet. Mastercard customers will still need to provide their credit card details in the normal way as the primary means of identification. On occasions where further authentication is required, the current method is to ask for selected characters from the password, and it is at this point where the selfie or fingerprint will be requested.
Reducing the Cost of Online Payments
It is hoped that the greater security provided by this kind of biometric mechanism can bring savings for merchants and consumers as credit card companies may no longer need to build as many extra costs into the prices for transactions to cover fraud.
Biometric Systems Getting More Popular
The public's use of Biometric systems is now on the increase. Examples include the OS for Microsoft's Windows 10 and Google's Android allowing users to unlock devices by looking at their cameras and the Smart wallet systems from Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay that allow customers to use their fingerprints to authorise payments.