MasterCard to go biometric in 2015

MasterCard has reported revealed plans to make use of biometric information to replace passwords required for online payments, harnessing finger print scanning technology in certain Apple and Android phones.

Working in partnership with Visa, MasterCard is said to have expressed their to replace current password-based online security authentication, known as 3D Secure, biometric verification technology.

If the firm chooses to do so it will ofcourse involve making use of biometric technology such as fingerprint, voice and facial recognition to bypass the need for consumers to remember passwords.

One reason for the firm’s interest in biometric technology is perhaps the fact that currently databases full of credit card information are more vulnerable than they were 10 years back when the threat of cyber attacks were much less.

MasterCard and Visa are reportedly looking at solving this problem by aiming to have the new protocol adopted as early as 2015, which will represent the largest wholesale upgrade to online payment security.

The end goal of MasterCard’s plan is to enable everyone from consumers to banks and merchants to embrace invisible security authentication, and reduce the number of prompts for passwords without compromising secure payments.

To achieve this, MasterCard has outlined plans to pilot commercial trials for various methods of biometric identification via mobile devices, one of which is a wristband that identifies a cardholder by their cardiac rhythm.

Rather than requiring companies to invest in technology that enables biometric authentication, they can instead apply a software layer to smartphones with the functionality built in, making the business case of adopting new protocols more appealing.

MasterCard will also look to evolve its SecureCode programme to support the new protocol by replacing 3D Secure.

As of now neither Google nor Apple has given any confirmation about this development.