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Mastercard sets biometric challenge for banks

Mastercard has set a challenge for banking providers by requiring them to offer biometric authentication by the spring of next year.

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The company has announced that any bank that offers Mastercard cards to its customers must have the capacity to offer the biometric technology on all remote transactions as well as the existing PIN and password facilities by April 2019. This deadline also applies to any contactless transactions made with a mobile device, and aims to provide customers with a biometric option such as facial recognition or fingerprints as these methods of authentication become increasingly popular. The move is also being driven by the new EU regulatory framework that came into effect earlier this month.

Research by Oxford University, carried out in conjunction with Mastercard, found that 93 per cent of customers would prefer to use biometric methods of authentication over passwords, and 92 per cent of professionals in the banking industry are also in favour of the adoption of biometrics. The research also found that with biometric ID, the rate of financial transaction abandonment fell by as much as 70 per cent.

Benefits

Mastercard has its own biometric product, known as Mastercard Identity Check, which enables its customers to verify their identity using fingerprints or facial recognition through a mobile device.

According to Mastercard UK and Ireland President Mark Barnett, the change will be welcomed: "Biometric technologies perfectly meet the public's expectation for state-of-the-art security when making a payment. This will be of great benefit to everyone: consumers, retailers and banks.”


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