Mastercard Sets 2019 As Deadline For EU Issuers To Offer Biometric Authentication

Mastercard has announced that by next spring, consumers will be able to identify themselves with biometrics when they shop and pay using their Mastercards.

Mastercard Identity Check, currently available in 37 countries, enables individuals to use biometric identifiers, such as fingerprint, iris and facial recognition, to verify their identities when using a mobile device for online shopping and banking.

Research shows that a whopping 93 percent of consumers prefer using biometrics over passwords for authenticating payments, while 92 percent of banking professionals say they want to utilize it. The preference for validating through biometrics – along with the EU’s new regulation for strong authentication – makes this a prime time for banks and payment companies to implement the technology.

While existing authentication methods can take shoppers away from a retailer’s website, an easier solution is to replace the reliance on what the consumer knows (such as passwords) and what they have (card or smart device), and focus on what they have (e.g. mobile phones) and who they are (their biometrics).

Aside from the safety and security perks, banks also report that when biometric authentication is used, consumers are more likely to finalize transactions. In fact, abandonment rates drop by up to 70 percent. The solution also speeds up the digital checkout time.

“Biometric technologies perfectly meet the public’s expectation for state-of-the-art security when making a payment,” said Mark Barnett, president of Mastercard UK & Ireland. “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.”

Mastercard isn't the only payments company utilizing biometrics. Just last week, Visa announced that it is working with U.S. point-of-sale terminal manufacturers – such as Equinox Payments, Ingenico Group, Poynt and Verifone – to pilot sensory branding with merchant partners in the coming year.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.