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Mastercard makes European biometrics push for online payments

From next April, online shoppers across Europe will be able to use biometrics, such as fingerprints or facial recognition, to identify themselves at the checkout when they pay with Mastercard. With smartphones now near ubiquitous, the vast majority of consumers and banks are eager to ditch passwords in favour of biometric authentication.

Research from Mastercard and Oxford University last year found that 93% of consumers prefer using their fingerprints or faces over passwords for validating payments, while 92% of bankers also want to adopt biometrics.

Mastercard Identity Check, which lets people use biometric identifiers, such as fingerprint, iris and facial recognition to verify their identity using a mobile device during online shopping and banking activities, is already available in 37 countries.

But with new EU regulatory requirements on authentication coming into force through PSD2, the card firm says that banks across the continent must offer the biometric option by April 2019.

Javier Perez, president, Mastercard Europe, says: “Biometric technologies perfectly match consumers’ expectations of getting the secure payment solutions of tomorrow, in line with the increased digitalisation of lifestyles. This can significantly benefit consumers, retailers and banks by improving the purchase experience and better securing the transaction.”

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