MasterCard transactions to be verified with selfies and fingerprints

MasterCard is set to expand its use of facial and fingerprint recognition with Identity Check authentication software in an attempt to prevent online fraud. Identity Check has been tested in the Netherlands, Canada, and the US, and the Wall Street Journal reports that MasterCard is preparing to launch it in partnership with banks and merchants “in the coming weeks.”

Identity Check authenticates a selfie or fingerprint sent via a MasterCard mobile app, after prompting the consumer with a text message for laptop or desktop transactions. In early testing 86 percent of those who used it found Identity Check to be easier than authenticating with a password, and the first phase in the roll-out of biometric corporate credit cards began with BMO employees in the US and Canada in March.

MasterCard developed Identity Check, as well as machine learning to detect unusual account activity, in anticipation of growing online fraud, as other technologies reduce traditional credit card fraud.

A year after MasterCard introduced chip cards in the US, 88 percent of consumers have them, and a third of US merchants can now accept them. This shift away from swiping the magnetic strip has resulted in a 54 percent reduction in counterfeit card fraud at those merchants, according to a MasterCard representative.

“Fraudsters have a business model, too, so we see [fraud] moving to ‘card not present’ transactions,” MasterCard president of enterprise security solutions Ajay Bhalla told the Journal.

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