MasterCard to feature selfie/fingerprints for authentication for online shopping

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Jagruti Jain, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


There is a recent news from Mastercard. It has launched a new mobile application that will allow customers to replace the authentication while purchasing online. Earlier it was PIN number, then came the one time password sent to the mobile. Now it is selfies/fingerprints. Now this is interesting. Mastercard is upgrading the technologies with the changing trends. The program will be rolled out by big banks in the US, Canada, UK and some European countries over the next few months. Well, it will take time to reach India.

People who want to try selfie authentication will have to download a special Mastercard app that will allow the users to take a picture everytime they want to shop online. The face will be scanned by the software to authenticate the user. MasterCard will be testing the range of authentication methods, such as facial identification, voice recognition and cardiac rhythm through a wearable wristband.

Mr. Ajay Bhalla, President, Enterprise safety and security at Mastercards, said, “We want to identify people for who they are , not what they remember.” Very well said. Nowadays, with increasing the internet penetration, people are signing into thousands of websites, it’s very difficult to remember each and every password. So generally people tend to use the same password which can be very easily guessed or they use the same passwords for all the websites. Both the ways can lead to hacking of the account. So this is a very good initiative taken by Mastercard. Because fingerprints or any other biometrics are unique to the individual.



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