MasterCard out to end use of passwords in e-payments

  • To use richer cardholder data, fewer password interruptions at the point of sale
  • Use of one-time passwords or fingerprint biometrics instead of static passwords

MasterCard out to end use of passwords in e-paymentsPAYMENT provider MasterCard Inc has outlined its vision for online payments beyond passwords, saying this would make life simpler for cardholders while increasing security.
The company has been leading the co-creation of a new authentication standard, which when adopted, will be the largest wholesale upgrade to online payment security, it said in a statement.
The new standard will benefit consumers, banks and merchants alike, with invisible authentication and far fewer prompts for passwords, MasterCard claimed.
By 2018, payments on mobile devices are expected to represent 30% of all online retail sales, it said, citing Juniper Research.
Therefore the new standard will move security infrastructure beyond the PC era, supporting emerging technologies and changing consumer needs.
MasterCard’s approach is to utilise richer cardholder data, which will result in far fewer password interruptions at the point of sale.
In the event that an authentication challenge is needed, cardholders will be able to identify themselves with the likes of one-time passwords, or fingerprint biometrics, rather than committing static passwords to memory.
“All of us want a payment experience that is safe as well as simple, not one or the other,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of Enterprise Security Solutions at MasterCard.
“We want to identify people for who they are, not what they remember. We have too many passwords to remember and this is creates extra problems for consumers and businesses,” he added.
The new protocol, being co-created with Visa, could be adopted in 2015 and will gradually replace the current 3D Secure protocol.
Other steps MasterCard is taking toward a password-free environment include:

  • Evolving its SecureCode programme to support the new standard, resulting in a smoother, simpler and safer experience for cardholders;
  • Piloting commercial tests for facial and voice recognition apps to authenticate cardholders; and
  • Conducting trials of a wristband which authenticates cardholders through their unique cardiac rhythm.

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