Mastercard rolls out biometric app
04 October 2016 16:04 GMT

Mastercard has announced the European rollout of Identity Check Mobile, a new payment technology application that uses biometrics such as fingerprints or facial recognition to verify a cardholder’s identity.

The technology is now being introduced across 12 markets in Europe, including the UK, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden, following a series of trials in the Netherlands, the US and Canada. The technology will be rolled out across the world in phases in 2017.

Typically, existing identity verification methods take shoppers away from a retailer’s website or mobile app where they are often required to remember and enter a password. The process can be time consuming and can result in a shopper abandoning their purchase or having the transaction declined if they enter their password incorrectly.

Mastercard says Identity Check Mobile eliminates the need for cardholders to recall passwords, dramatically speeding up the digital checkout experience while also improving security. Instead, the cardholder can verify their identity by using the fingerprint scanner on their smartphone or via facial recognition technology by taking a ‘selfie’ photo. 

“We are relentlessly focused on making the online payment experience near frictionless, without making any compromises on safety and security,” says Ajay Bhalla, president of Enterprise Risk & Security, Mastercard. “This is a significant milestone in the evolution of payments. Shopping in person has been revolutionised thanks to advances like contactless cards, mobile payments and wearables, and now we are making Identity Check Mobile a reality for online shopping in Europe, and soon, the world.” 

The move comes after trials and research discovered European consumers prefer biometric payments to current systems that rely on passwords.