Biometric-Enabled Payments Will Have You Smiling at the Checkout

It’s certainly a nuisance for consumers to remember multiple passwords, complete timed online forms or formulate blurry words that are reminiscent of a Snellen chart at the doctor's office, just to complete an online transaction, but unfortunately these are the precautions online retailers have to take to deter cybercriminals.

Reported by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, the crime of identity theft has topped the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) for the 15th consecutive year in the national ranking of consumer complaints. Identity theft represented 13% of all complaints in 2014, according to the FTC's 2014 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. According to Javelin Strategy & Research’s March 2015 Identity Fraud Study, fraudsters stole $16 billion from 12.7 million US consumers in 2014.

The initial burden of any monetary loss is frustrating, but the long-term effects of credit rehabilitation are far more economically debilitating. For many Americans, having a clean credit report and high credit score could be the determining factor in gaining approval to buying or renting a home. To ensure that consumers, retailers, card issuers and banks are safeguarded from hackers, cybersecurity is a shared responsibility.

In a press release from yesterday, October 6, 2015, MasterCard introduced MasterCard Identity Check, a suite of technology solutions that leverage advanced technologies to prove a consumer’s identity and further simplify the online shopping experience.

Existing methods to prove an identity online can take shoppers away from a retailer’s website. This final step can be time consuming and potentially result in the purchase being declined or abandoned. MasterCard Identity Check will put identity verification at the cardholder’s fingertips using technologies such as biometrics and SMS-delivered one-time passwords.

Today, people shop on all sorts of devices, and they expect technology to simplify and secure the transaction, said Ajay Bhalla, President of Enterprise Security Solutions at MasterCard. This is exactly what Identity Check delivers.

MasterCard Identity Check extends the company’s commitment to upgrade to online payment security. The use of technology and data will move from a reliance on what the consumer knows (passwords), to what they have (mobile phone or other smart devices) and who they are (biometrics). Hundreds of cardholders in the Netherlands began using biometric-enabled payments last month while a similar trial is also underway in the US.

US financial institutions can choose to participate in MasterCard Identity Check beginning in the middle of 2016, with a global expansion in 2017.

New Global Consumer Survey Supports Next Generation Checkout

This next generation of consumer authentication is verified by recent research. According to a MasterCard survey, 53% of shoppers forget crucial passwords more than once a week, losing more than 10 minutes when they reset their accounts.

As a result, more than a third of people abandon an online purchase, while six in 10 said it led to missing a time-sensitive transaction like buying concert tickets. More than half of people want to see passwords replaced by something more convenient while continuing to deliver the same levels of protection and peace of mind.

About the Survey:

The poll of about 10,000 general population consumers was conducted by Norstat between August 13–21, 2015. Consumers in 17 markets across North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia Pacific were surveyed on their perceptions related to online shopping. The total sample has a margin of error of +/-0.80% at a 95% confidence level.

About MasterCard:

MasterCard (NYSE: MA) is a technology company in the global payments industry. The company operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities—such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances—easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.