Visa and Mastercard plan new system for online payment verification

Visa and Mastercard are planning to get rid of their current online security verification system, and replace it with something a bit more modern and secure.

You’re probably familiar with either Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode, which pop up when you make an online purchase, just before the payment is officially put through. They ask you to input letters from an extra password to verify that it’s actually the card owner making the purchase – but in contemporary terms, this is a relatively unsophisticated security measure.

Folks are prone to forgetting their password, and the system can be sluggish to load, plus it’s potentially open to fraud and imitation password pages.

At any rate, a new system is coming in, the Guardian reports – and initially, that will likely be a code sent to a registered mobile, which is obviously different every time (and dispenses with the need to remember a password).

Eventually, the plan is to move to some kind of fingerprint biometric or similar for increased security still. The Guardian even mentions the possibility of a wristband which identifies a user through the unique rhythm of their heart beat. Some banks have already adopted separate pieces of hardware for a second authentication factor, like First Direct’s secure key, a little calculator-like pad which sends a unique one-time code.

What we don’t want is to end up in a situation where we have multiple gizmos for banking, card payments and so on, which then end up getting lost.

Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise security solutions at MasterCard, told the Guardian: “All of us want a payment experience that is safe as well as simple, not one or the other. We want to identify people for who they are, not what they remember. We have too many passwords to remember and this creates extra problems for consumers and businesses.”