Say cheese: Mastercard's new security measures

Tom Wilson
24 February 2016

MasterCard will let customers confirm their identities using selfies and fingerprints, starting in the summer.

Photo verification will replace the extra security steps people must provide when making transactions, but users will still need to enter their credit card details.

To prevent fraudsters using photographs to fake people’s identities, the image recognition software needs users to blink when confirming their IDs.

To use the new technology, available on mobiles and computers, users will need to download an app when it becomes available later this year in Britain, as well as much of Europe and North America.

Speaking at the Mobile World Congress tech show in Barcelona, the company said 92% of people who had trialled the technology preferred the new system to passwords, based on tests in America and the Netherlands.

The news follows a recent announcement from HSBC that it is introducing voice-recognition tech to let customers access mobile banking services. HSBC, as well as several other banks also offer finger-print verification through new iPhones.

Research published in January found plenty of appetite for bio-metric based security, particularly among younger people. 69% of 16-24 year olds expect it to be faster and easier than password-based security.

Quicker, more secure id checks could also benefit online sellers too – a remarkably high number of online baskets get abandoned, particularly for people buying on mobile devices, according to Paul Thomas, managing director at UK-based fintech firm Provenir.

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