MasterCard is launching its Identity Check Mobile technology in 12 European countries, enabling online shoppers to authenticate themselves through facial recognition and fingerprints.
The new technology means that cardholders can ditch passwords in favour of biometrics. When checking out at a retailer's site or mobile app, shoppers receive a pop-up on their handset, through which they can authorise the payment via finger scan or selfie recognition.
Following trials in the Netherlands, US and Canada, MasterCard is now bringing the system to the the UK, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. Other parts of the world will follow in phases next year.
The Dutch trial proved popular with 750 ABN Amro credit card users. More than three quarters of participants said that they wanted to continue using a fingerprint and/or facial recognition to complete payments and some nine out of 10 wanted to replace their password with biometric identification definitively.
The reasons for the enthusiastic response were convenience and security. Of those surveyed, 95% of the fingerprint users and 80% of the facial recognition users indicated that shopping became more convenient, while almost 75% expected that biometric payments will decrease fraud.
Ajay Bhalla, president, enterprise risk and security, Mastercard, says: "This is a significant milestone in the evolution of payments. Shopping in person has been revolutionized thanks to advances like contactless cards, mobile payments and wearables, and now we are making Identity Check Mobile a reality for online shopping in Europe, and soon, the world."