Mastercard commits to biometric authentication

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Mastercard has revealed that all customers will be able to identify themselves through biometrics such as fingerprints or facial recognition, when making a purchase with Mastercard by April next year. 

Banks that accept Mastercard payments will have to support these identification mechanisms, in addition to PINs and passwords, to allow customers to make payments remotely.

Mastercard’s April deadline comes as consumers have greater access to biometric ID services through smartphones and tablets, and the EU introduced regulations for stronger authentication as part of the second version of the Payment Services Directive (PSD2).

Banks have reported that customers are much more likely to go through with a purchase when biometric authentication is used, according to Mastercard, with abandonment rates dropping by up to 70 per cent when other methods are used. 

Mark Barnett, president of Mastercard UK & Ireland said: “Biometric technologies perfectly meet the public’s expectation for state-of-the-art security when making a payment. This will be of great benefit to everyone: consumers, retailers and banks. It will make the purchase much smoother, and instead of having to remember passwords to authenticate, shoppers will have the chance to use a fingerprint or a picture of themselves.”

This shift to biometrics is part of Mastercard’s new action plan to help banks and retailers to prevent fraud and improve the consumer experience in the new digital environment.