Mastercard Launches Biometric Authentication Service

January 31, 2024

Amid the abundant data breaches consumers, and even major companies have suffered in the past decade, there is one conclusion many companies have landed on: regular passwords are not good enough anymore. For this reason, many have speculated that the future holds a more biometric approach, and on that note, Mastercard launched its very own biometric service.

Recent surveys show that nearly 70% of consumers feel overwhelmed with the amount of passwords they have to memorize, and the thought that these are not strong enough is prevalent.

 To this end, multi-factor authentication is an improvement, making it so that the consumer has an easy, accessible way of confirming their identity, and reducing fraud significantly. However, this system is clearly not enough: to some, it is an irksome, time-consuming process.

 According to executive vice president at Mastercard, Dennis Gamiello, who leads Identity Products and Innovation, weak or stolen passwords are responsible for 80% of confirmed data breaches. 

The vulnerability of passwords, including one-time passwords used in multi-factor authentication, only increases as we move to a more digital world. That’s why we need to replace the password with the person. 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.

 Now, thanks to the popularity of smart devices aided by artificial intelligence, you can confirm your identity by using your fingerprint, face or iris, making this a wall between your information and fraudsters. 

To that end, Mastercard launched its new Mastercard Biometric authentication Service, allowing businesses to integrate biometrics when logging into apps, websites, or to do some online shopping.

(This)helps resolve the friction and vulnerability that endless passwords and multi-factor authentication prompts can create. It’s a move that not only makes digital experiences more secure, but also easier and faster.

 According to executive vice president at Mastercard, Dennis Gamiello, who leads Identity Products and Innovation, weak or stolen passwords are responsible for 80% of confirmed data breaches. 

It supports all card brands and even other payment methods, be it card or not. For merchants and financial institutions, this means a better experience for consumers with lower operational costs, and for the consumer, this means a seamless experience, with the option to use FaceID or fingerprints as desired, with no need to switch between multiple apps or devices. According to Gamiello, The Mastercard Biometric Authentication Service excels because all data stays on your personal device, without the need to share passwords or answers to security questions, reducing the risk of falling victIm to identity theft or hackers. FIDO passkeys also have the added benefit of being resistant to phishing as no sharing of codes or passwords is necessary, as well as being interoperable, making them usable on different devices and different places. “Passkeys are discoverable by browsers or housed within apps for passwordless authentication. It’s estimated that more than 4 billion smart devices are FIDO passkey-ready. That means passkey-based security applications for uses beyond payments, such as opening a new account or app or web login and even open banking are at your fingertips — or in this case, fingerprints.

We are excited to see where this technology will get us in terms of safety for consumers globally. Data breaches are a very serious threat we are constantly fighting, and biometric authentication is definitely setting us on the right path. 

Want to learn more? Check out Payments Cards and Mobile’s full write-up here.

 Share your thoughts on our LinkedIn page.

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