American Express adds biometrics to mobile commerce authentication platform

American Express has released SafeKey 2.0, the next generation of its online authentication platform designed for the mobile commerce environment.

SafeKey 2.0, which uses the EMV 3-D Secure 2.0 industry standard, is a global solution that provides an additional security layer when an American Express Card Member makes a purchase online at a participating merchant.

American Express has posted its SafeKey 2.0 technical specifications for merchants, issuers, and partners on the website of the service, which will be available for deployment in spring 2018.

SafeKey 2.0 offers several improvements over SafeKey 1.0 platform that can help identify potential fraud in real-time while enabling consumers to check out safely across all digital channels.

The updated platform supports authentication methods using biometrics, including fingerprints and facial recognition.

The tool can also be deployed for traditional and emerging commerce channels, ranging from e-commerce websites to in-app purchases on smartphones and other Internet-connected devices.

SafeKey 2.0 enables merchants and card issuers to exchange more detailed transaction information, which in turn helps to further combat fraud and eliminate friction when a customer makes a purchase by reducing requests for one-time passwords.

In addition, SafeKey 2.0 will support card issuers and merchant acquirers in the European Union as they meet the Strong Customer Authentication requirements governed by the Payment Services Directive 2.0.

“The number of consumers making purchases through mobile channels is continuing to grow, and the expected growth of Internet-connected devices will further fuel digital commerce activity,” said Jaromir Divilek, executive vice president of global network business at American Express. “SafeKey 2.0 complements American Express’ fraud-prevention capabilities by addressing the evolving needs of merchants, card issuers, and Card Members.”

American Express will continue to support the existing SafeKey 1.0 for merchants and card issuers who are using the platform, while those who are interested in upgrading to SafeKey 2.0 or deploying the platform for the first time should contact their merchant plug-in service provider.

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