Apple Card secures payments with smartphone biometrics as Mastercard plans for digital trust

Apple has announced a new digital-first credit card built into the iPhone Wallet app with a range of security and privacy features, including integration of Touch ID and Face ID biometrics, TechCrunch reports.

The new Apple Card, launched in partnership with Mastercard and Goldman Sachs, brings the security of biometric authentication to online purchases, and also features a dynamic card verification value (CVV) security code. Changing credit card codes were introduced several years ago by Oberthur Technologies, providing security for online transactions, unless the card is stolen. Likewise, the fingerprint security of biometric payment cards, which cannot be used if stolen, does not apply to card-not-present transactions, making them vulnerable to online fraud.

A unique privacy architecture also prevents Apple from receiving information about customer purchases, according to the report.

Apple will also launch a titanium physical credit card which does not display a card number, CVV code, expiration date, or signature, for use with an Apple Card account at locations where Apple Pay is not accepted.

In a blog post, Mastercard cites a recent survey in which 68 percent of people who have loaded a debit or credit card into a digital wallet expect to make half or more of their in-store purchases with a digital wallet within two years.

Samsung Pay was recently launched for PFS Mastercard holders to make contactless payments from mobile devices via NFC.

Mastercard has also published a paper to present its new consumer-centric model for digital identity, based on the concept that “I own my identity and I control my identity data.”

Restoring Trust in a Digital World” (PDF) describes a model Mastercard says is based on its Principles of Digital Identity, which emphasize the role of concepts like ownership, confidentiality, transparency, and choice. Establishing identity in an online world involves making a move from static identity data to dynamic and biometric identity data, as well as open, interoperable services, reusable digital identity replacing passwords, and user control, the company says.

“As the identity verification market evolves to address the vulnerabilities of static identity data, the ethical use of biometric identity data has become more important,” the report authors write in the section on the role of technology and standards. “The verification of user biometric data, liveness detection, and associated security processing are key areas of innovation and application.”

Mastercard and Microsoft announced a partnership in December to develop a decentralized universal digital identity system.

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