MasterCard and Europay develop secure e-payment standard

MasterCard and Europay develop secure e-payment standard

MasterCard and Europay are rolling out a new cardholder authentication standard to secure electronic and mobile commerce EMV (Europay/MasterCard/Visa) transactions worldwide.

The Universal Cardholder Authentication Field (Ucaf) will be available to MasterCard member financial institutions to enable them to guarantee payment to online merchants via MasterCard and Maestro credit and debit transactions.

The system presents, collects and passes cardholder authentication information generated by issuers and cardholders to the online merchant. Once collected by a merchant and its acquirer, this information is communicated to the issuer in the payment authorisation request and provides explicit evidence that the transaction was originated by the account holder, say the companies.

In Europe, MasterCard is currently supporting 90 EMV chip migration projects and a number of Ucaf development initiatives - one of which is German banking group Euro Kartensysteme. Under this initiative, Euro Kartensysteme will test a system which combines an EMV smart card and card reader to both authenticate the cardholder at the time of the transaction and provide a cryptographic signature for the main transaction data elements, thereby completing the authentication cycle.

Stephen Orfei, senior vice-president, e-commerce and eB2B center of excellence, MasterCard International, says: “MasterCard’s global standard, as implemented by EURO Kartensysteme, using EMV smart cards in conjunction with the Ucaf transport mechanism is the ideal medium to allow for both proper cardholder identification and to ensure that only those transactions approved by the cardholder can be financially settled."

MasterCard has implemented the Ucaf messaging requirements in its global authorisation network and in Europe has mandated member financial institution support by April 2002. In the United States, plans are currently under review for the payment guarantee to be extended for fully authenticated cross-border online transactions in the fourth quarter 2002.

Similar plans are scheduled for other key markets around the world throughout the year.

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