Mastercard promises biometric tools for all customers by 2019

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Mastercard has pledged to roll out biometric identification systems to shops and banks across the world as it looks to push for increased safety and security for its users.

The company said it will look to make tools such as fingerprint or facial recognition available to all its customers by April 2019 as customers increasingly demand the security offered by biometrics to safeguard their payments.

The new biometric tools will be made available to banks issuing Mastercard-branded cards, providing an extra layer of security alongside existing PIN and password protections.

Recent research found that the vast majority of consumers prefer biometrics over passwords for validating payments, and a similarly overwhelming majority of banking professionals share the same opinion. Using biometric authentication also makes customers much more inclined to go through with online purchases, with abandonment rates dropping by up to 70 per cent compared to other methods.

“Biometric technologies perfectly meet the public’s expectation for state-of-the-art security when making a payment," said Mark Barnett, President, Mastercard UK & Ireland. "This will be of great benefit to everyone: consumers, retailers and banks.  It will make the purchase much smoother, and instead of having to remember passwords to authenticate, shoppers will have the chance to use a fingerprint or a picture of themselves.”

Mastercard currently offers a range of biometric tools for its customers, with its Identity Check platform available in 37 countries around the world providing users the opportunity to use biometric indicators such as fingerprint or iris scans to validate their identity using a smartphone or other mobile advice.