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Mastercard Launches Service to Ease Adoption of Biometric Authentication

man using biometric facial recognition

Mastercard has launched the Mastercard Biometric Authentication Service, a solution aimed at enhancing security and convenience for consumers.

The service leverages biometrics, such as fingerprints, iris scans and facial recognition, to verify identity and secure personal data, the company said in a Wednesday (Jan. 24) press release.

“We are working with our partners around the globe to replace passwords once and for all by accelerating the transition to more seamless and secure authentication, including biometrics,” Dennis Gamiello, an executive vice president who leads Identity Products and Innovation at Mastercard, said in the release.

By adopting the latest Fast Identity Online (FIDO) standards, the service creates an encrypted key pair stored on personal devices, ensuring that only the user’s unique biometrics can unlock this passkey, according to the release.

With the Mastercard Biometric Authentication Service, customers can have a frictionless experiences while logging into apps or making online purchases, the release said. The service eliminates the need for multiple passwords or authentication codes, allowing users to authenticate themselves using their preferred biometric. This streamlined process not only enhances security but also reduces operational costs for merchants and financial institutions.

Mastercard’s biometric authentication service aims to replace traditional authentication methods, eliminating the need for passwords, knowledge questions or one-time codes, per the release. By leveraging biometrics and FIDO standards, the service provides a more secure and user-friendly alternative.

In addition to enhancing security, the Mastercard Biometric Authentication Service can be used with tokenization to protect payment credentials, according to the release. Tokenization ensures that payment information cannot be copied or reused, adding another layer of security to online purchases.

The widespread adoption of FIDO passkeys makes this biometric authentication service accessible to billions of smart devices worldwide, the release said.

Beyond payments, passkey-based security applications can be used for opening new accounts, logging into apps or websites, in open banking scenarios and for other purposes, per the release.

PYMNTS Intelligence has found that biometrics systems are gaining popularity as an authentication method for more and more digital tasks.

Nearly 60% of the U.S. consumers who made online purchases in the month before being surveyed used biometric authentication to validate their transactions, according to “Tracking the Digital Payments Takeover: Biometric Authentication in the Age of Mobile,” a PYMNTS Intelligence and AWS collaboration.

The report also found that 80% of the consumers who made their purchases on a mobile device used biometric authentication.