Mastercard has set a deadline for its partners to implement biometric security for remote and mobile-based transactions: The company has announced that all of its customers must have access to fingerprint or facial recognition authentication by April of next year.
For banks issuing Mastercard payment cards, that means they’ll need to enable such biometric security for online transactions, as well as transactions made at the point of sale using smartphones or other mobile devices.
In a statement announcing the roadmap, Mastercard laid out the case for its biometric requirement on two main bases. One is that it improves the shopping experience: Citing a study conducted with Oxford University, Mastercard said that 93 percent of consumers prefer biometrics to passwords for payment validation; and the company asserted that “customers are much more inclined to go through with their purchase” when biometric authentication is used, asserting that order “abandonment rates can drop by up to 70% compared to other methods like One Time Password sent via SMS”.
The other key basis for the roadmap is the implementation of new regulatory standards like the Strong Customer Authentication requirement in the European Union’s new PSD2 regulations. Together with the proliferation of biometric authentication technologies on mobile devices, these factors “suggest that the time is ripe for enabling biometric validation solutions for digital payments,” the company argued.
Mastercard also framed the plan as part of its larger effort to bring biometric security into payments, citing its Mastercard Identity Check mobile app, developed in collaboration with Daon and its multimodal biometric authentication platform. And while Mastercard did not allude in its announcement to its more secretive preparations to launch biometric payment cards, its partner IDEX has been more forthcoming in suggesting that the company has high expectations for these solutions as well in the near future.
January 23, 2018 – by Alex Perala