Mastercard’s payment verification by selfie and fingerprint begins 2019
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Mastercard’s payment verification by selfie and fingerprint begins 2019

Mastercard will roll out its more futuristic payment verification methods – using “selfies” and fingerprints – as early as next year. The “selfie” option (or, more properly, facial recognition) is a clear play at making the service more convenient for Millennials, who are only ever a few minutes away from taking a “selfie”. However, these youth-friendly, maximum convenience, methods won’t replace the existing pin-and-chip security options that Mastercard offers. Rather, they will be an alternative payment verification method.

Mastercard’s share price has already risen by 13% year to date

graph 0129 mastercard

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Mastercard has told banks that issue its debit and credit cards that they have to offer these new “biometric” payment verification methods to customers from next year. According to the company, the “vast majority” of its customers prefer biometrics to traditional payment verification methods like pin numbers and passwords. Mastercard also claims that this implementation of advanced technology will bring it in-line with new EU regulations that are in force from 2019. Namely, that players in the sector will have to offer “strong customer authentication,”

According to Mark Barnett, president of Mastercard UK and Ireland, the new tech is a step in the right direction. He told reporters that: "This will be of great benefit to everyone: consumers, retailers and banks. It will make the purchase much smoother, and instead of having to remember passwords to authenticate, shoppers will have the chance to use a fingerprint or a picture of themselves."

Timelines for implementation by specific banks aren’t available. But Mastercard has set a deadline of April 2019. Meanwhile, it is unclear what competitor Visa’s approach to the new EU regulations will be. In response to a request for a statement, a Visa spokesperson replied:

"Biometrics is an area that Visa has been involved in for many years, both through our own innovations and working with our partners such as Apple, Google and Samsung, who incorporate biometrics as part of their authentication. What's more, our view is that biometrics in payments isn't simply about mobile; indeed, we have recently launched the first commercial pilots of a biometric card for contactless payments."


Dominion holds Mastercard and Visa in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.

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