MasterCard brings fingerprints and selfie scanners to online shopping

Say goodbye to passwords and PIN codes.

MasterCard has just rolled out a new feature that should simplify online shopping, without making any compromises in security. The feature, called Identity Check Mobile, allows users to use biometrics like fingerprint scanning or facial recognition to verify their identity before making a purchase, eliminating the need for passwords or PIN codes. 

At the moment, the technology is being introduced in 12 European countries: the UK, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. Worldwide rollout is expected next year, although no specific dates have been given. 

MasterCard says current identity verification methods often send the user away from the website or mobile app to a new site / app, where they need to confirm their identity with a password or PIN code. That approach often makes people abandon the shopping process completely. 

By implementing biometrics, such as fingerprint scanners or facial recognition technology (MasterCard's app allows you to take a selfie so that the technology can recognize you), the company hopes to 'dramatically' speed up the digital checkout experience. 

“We are relentlessly focused on making the online payment experience near frictionless, without making any compromises on safety and security,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of Enterprise Risk & Security, Mastercard.  

“This is a significant milestone in the evolution of payments. Shopping in person has been revolutionised thanks to advances like contactless cards, mobile payments and wearables, and now we are making Identity Check Mobile a reality for online shopping in Europe, and soon, the world.” 

Image Credit: Håkan Dahlström / Flickr