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MasterCard and Visa’s plan to simplify online shopping

MasterCard Logo.svg
MasterCard Logo.svg

MasterCard and Visa have teamed up to work on a new method of customer authentication, simplifying online shopping and aiming to do away with the password method altogether.

The plan dovetails with an increasing number of shoppers paying from tablets and smartphones: MasterCard has cited research by Juniper Research that 30% of all online retail payments will be conducted via mobile devices by 2018.

MasterCard and Visa plan to use richer cardholder data, thus reducing the number of password interruptions at the point of sale. Shoppers will theoretically be able to identify themselves with fingerprint biometrics or single-use passwords, as opposed to remembering permanent passwords.

“All of us want a payment experience that is safe as well as simple,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise security solutions at MasterCard. “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.”

The new methods could be implemented as soon as next year. MasterCard is also trialling other plans, such as voice and face recognition and, weirdly, a wristband that tracks its wearer’s heartbeat.