Smartphones key to biometric e-commerce

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MasterCard is seeking to partner with Visa to use biometric information to replace passwords for online payments.

Existing password-based online security authentication is known as 3D

A fingerprint on a mobile phone
Smartphones key to biometric e-commerce

Secure, which the two companies hope to replace with a new, multi-layered approach to authentication.

MasterCard’s Bob Reany says this would involve making use of biometric technology such as fingerprint, voice, and facial recognition. MasterCard and Visa aim to have the new protocol adopted as early as 2015.

MasterCard predicts that eventually, consumers, banks, and merchants will embrace invisible security authentication. Commercial trials for various methods of biometric identification will be conducted via mobile devices, one of which is a wristband that identifies a cardholder by their cardiac rhythm.

Companies can apply a software layer to smartphones with the functionality built in, making the business case for new protocols more appealing.

“The population is ‘terminalizing’ themselves with this very strong, well-designed thing [biometrics technology], and we’re able to use it,” Reany says. “This is actually the highway for people to have a much better, safer experience.”

He also says MasterCard will evolve its SecureCode program to support the new protocol.

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