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Mastercard discusses its plan to bring biometrics into the mainstream


In an interview with PYMNTS, Cheryl Guerin, MasterCard’s EVP and group head of global products & solutions, discussed how the credit card firm’s $20 million cybersecurity plan will further existing technologies as well as MasterCard’s plans to bring biometrics to the mainstream.

In the interview, Guerin discussed the recent U.S. rollout of MasterCard Safety Net, a new initiative the company announced a couple weeks ago that provides an independent layer of security on top of the tools and policies of financial institutions, in which it monitors and blocks specific transactions based on selected criteria.

Guerin also highlighted how Mastercard would help usher biometrics into the mainstream industry through various initiatives.

“Biometrics are significant in the future of payments,” said Guerin. “They can help combat lost or stolen card fraud as the combinations of voice and facial recognition with fingermarks prove the identity of the cardholder. To bring biometric authentication to the mainstream, MasterCard is participating in a number of pilot programs around the world, with more to come.”

One such program is Mastercard’s biometrics pilot with First Tech Federal Credit, which will use a combination of facial and voice recognition, along with fingerprint matching, to authenticate the identities of consumers.

In related news, MasterCard hosted the MasterCard Forum 2015 last week in Stockholm which addressed disruptive technologies and emerging payments in the European market.

The event featured a range of topics including trends in mobile and e-commerce, technology, and the future of commerce.

Zwipe EVP of payment Susanne Hannestad took part in a panel discussion on partnerships.

She also demonstrated the recently announced Zwipe MasterCard, which integrates biometric sensors and the Zwipe secure biometric authentication technology on the cardholder’s biometric data.

Many Baltic and Nordic banks expressed interest in participating in pilots after watching the Zwipe MasterCard demonstration.

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