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BMO’s biometric corporate credit card program uses MasterCard Identity Check


BMO Financial Group (BMO) and MasterCard began a phased roll-out today of a biometric corporate credit card program in Canada and the U.S. that will let cardholders verify online transactions using facial recognition and fingerprint biometrics.

In the first phase, BMO employee corporate cardholders in Canada and the U.S. will be able to use the MasterCard Identity Check mobile app to pay for online purchases on their smartphones via a selfie or fingerprint rather than a PIN or a password.

The first phase will test the potential of delivering cardholders greater security and convenience, including establishing and improving best practices in corporate environments, developing better protection against potential fraud and reducing the need for customer service inquiries. The second phase will make the technology more available to customers starting the summer of 2016.

“The use of biometric technology has become more common for consumers looking for convenient and secure ways to make purchases using their smartphones, so this was the natural next step for us as innovators in the payment security space,” said Steve Pedersen, VP, Head, North American Corporate Card Products, BMO Financial Group. “Mitigating the risk of fraud is always our top priority, and the inclusion of this technology is going to make payment authentication easier, and strengthen the security of the entire payments ecosystem.”

Catherine Murchie, Senior VP of North America Processing, Enterprise Security & Network Solutions for MasterCard added: “With BMO, MasterCard is hosting our first Canadian and U.S. corporate card biometric user engagement. It’s always exciting to introduce biometrics to new cardholders. They quickly realize that they don’t have to sacrifice convenience for security. By snapping a selfie or scanning a fingerprint, the person becomes the password.”

In the fall of 2015, First Tech Federal Credit Union helped MasterCard test its Identity Check app and at the end of the pilot, 88% of participants said that biometric authentication was overwhelmingly easy to use on its own while 86% of respondents said they found it even easier to use than password-based authentication. More than 90% of participants also said that biometric payment authentication is a method they could see themselves using on a daily basis.

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