Increasing the layers of security associated with the most popular traditional payment methods is a something that is drastically needed. Credit cards were never designed to be used on the Internet, where they are prone to theft, chargebacks, and fraud. MasterCard, one of the world’s leading credit card issuers, is rolling out quite a few different card security measures, designed specifically for the e-commerce sector.
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Introducing The MasterCard Identity Check Suite
Credit card fraud numbers remain at an all-time high and have done from year to year, despite best efforts by credit card issuers and financial institutions. People using stolen credit cards are getting more creative in terms of obtaining additional data to bypass identity checks, such as a date of birth, social security number, or even mother’s maiden names.
But that is not the only problem associated with the whole system of using credit cards and other traditional payments online. All of these services are protected with a user-determined password or passphrase. However, a recent survey showed that one in two consumers forget their passwords more than once per week. As a result, these passwords have to be reset every time, which takes up a fair bit of time.
Truth be told, nearly one in three consumers completely abandon their online purchase when forced to reset their password [again]. Furthermore, this issue is even more annoying when it comes to making time-sensitive purchases, such as event tickets, eBay purchases, or ordering food online.
MasterCard seems to have found a possible solution to tackle this problem head-on. Rather than relying on passwords to verify a user’s identity, their new Identity Check Suite will allow consumers to “authenticate” with a smart device and/or a biometrics scan. Passwords are on the way out, and it is much easier to scan a code, or submit a fingerprint scan through an enabled smart device – albeit this system is not without its risks either.
“Today, people shop on all sorts of devices, and they expect technology to simplify and secure the transaction. This is exactly what Identity Check delivers.” – MasterCard President of Enterprise Security Solutions Ajay Bhalla told the media in a statement.
It is not the first time MasterCard has ventured into the world of biometrics and smart device authentication. At the time of publication, a trial in The Netherlands is underway, where ABN Amro customers can use credit cards without entering PIN codes or passwords. Instead, their online purchases with a MasterCard are verified through facial and fingerprint recognition.
Assuming this test is successful, MasterCard plans to roll out their entire Identity Check Suite to US banks in 2016, and the global release will take place somewhere in 2017. No further details regarding how this biometrics data is verified, processed, or stored, was released by MasterCard at the time of writing.
Using Blockchain Technology To Store Data?
One thing is for certain: MasterCard users all over the world can only hope this biometric data will not be stored in regular databases on centralized services. Over the past few years, it has become crystal clear that traditional database solutions are no longer sufficient, especially when it comes to sensitive user data and information.
Blockchain technology is perfectly positioned to play an integral role in the future of storing and transmitting data over the internet. Due to its decentralized nature, with no one set of servers to attack, the Bitcoin blockchain provides a more secure and robust solution. Furthermore, it would also create a new level of transparency, which is something credit card companies like MasterCard should embrace sooner or later as well.
Images courtesy of MasterCard, Shutterstock