Mastercard has announced that all banks issuing Mastercard-branded cards to customers will have to be able to offer biometric authentication for remote transactions, alongside existing PIN and password verifications, from April 2019.
The deadline, which will also apply to all contactless transactions made at terminals with a mobile device, is designed to guarantee consumers have the option of identifying themselves with biometric data such as fingerprints or facial recognition, as these methods become increasingly popular.
The growth of smartphones as payment devices, combined with the EU's new regulatory requirements for strong authentication, have prompted Mastercard to demand that partner banks and other financial institutions be capable of offering biometric ID.
According to a study conducted by Oxford University in collaboration with Mastercard, 93 per cent of consumers prefer biometrics over passwords for validating payments, and biometric ID can result in abandonment rates dropping by as much as 70 per cent compared to other methods. 92 per cent of banking professionals are also keen to see biometric solutions adopted.
"Biometric technologies perfectly meet the public's expectation for state-of-the-art security when making a payment," said Mark Barnett, president of Mastercard UK & Ireland. "This will be of great benefit to everyone: consumers, retailers and banks. It will make the purchase much smooth, and instead of having to remember passwords to authenticate, shoppers will have the chance to use a fingerprint or a picture of themselves."
Mastercard's own biometric authentication solution, Mastercard Identity Check, is now available in 37 countries, and enables customers to use fingerprint, iris or facial recognition via a mobile device to verify their identity when shopping or banking online.