Mastercard is anticipating a big jump in biometrically authenticated payments thanks to new regulations in the European Union.
The PSD2 regulation has already officially been implemented in the EU, but its requirements for Strong Customer Authentication won’t come into play until this September. When they do, online payments and account access will require two of three authentication factors: something the user knows, something the user has, and something the user is – in other words, biometrics.
According to Mastercard, right now only one to two percent of online transactions require cardholder authentication, but this is going to rise to 25 percent this autumn. And the company is betting that biometrics will have a key role to play: In a statement, Mastercard highlighted its Identity Check mobile app, which uses the biometric capabilities of contemporary smartphones to authenticate users for sensitive transactions; and its biometric payment card solution – essentially a standard credit card that also features an embedded fingerprint sensor, authenticating the cardholder during transactions.
The latter solution is currently being trialed by Mastercard in South Africa, while Visa and other financial services providers are also exploring the same kind of technology. By incorporating strong authentication into a payment method that is already widely used, it’s in a unique position to meet the PSD2 requirements, improve security, and maintain convenience for users. And its rivals are headed in the same direction, which is good news for consumers everywhere.