Biometrics for all Mastercard customers by April 2019
23 January 2018 14:14 GMT

Mastercard has announced a plan for all consumers to be able to identify themselves with biometrics when using Mastercard from April 2019.

The firms said the increased availability of biometric capabilities on tablets and smart phones – consumers’ clear preference for these kind of solutions – and the EU’s new regulatory requirements for strong authentication suggest that the time is ripe for enabling biometric validation solutions for digital payments. 

The vast majority of consumers—93%—prefer biometricsover passwords for validating payments and according to a recent research paper conducted by Oxford University in collaboration with Mastercard, 92% of banking professionals want to adopt biometric solutions. Banks also report that when such biometric authentication is used, customers are much more inclined to go through with their purchase. The abandonment rates can drop by up to 70% compared to other methods like One Time Password sent via SMS, which reflects the much improved user experience.

"Biometric technologies perfectly match consumers’ expectations of getting the secure payment solutions of tomorrow, in line with the increased digitalization of lifestyles. This can significantly benefit consumers, retailers and banks by improving the purchase experience and better securing the transaction. Our leadership in the field demonstrates our ability to adapt to the expectations and new uses of consumers" said Javier Perez, President, Mastercard Europe.

Existing methods to prove an identity online can take shoppers away from a retailer’s website if it is time consuming or complex. One way to solve that is moving from a reliance on what the consumer knows (e.g. passwords) and what they have (card or smart device), to what they have (e.g. mobile phone) and who they are their (biometrics).