MasterCard and Visa to replace defunct security standard

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MasterCard and Visa are working together to replace their unpopular security systems, MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa, with a simpler solution using far fewer prompts for passwords and supporting a range of biometric technologies.

The new protocol could begin rolling out in 2015, MasterCard says, gradually replacing its current 3C Secure protocol.

By 2018, payments on mobile devices are expected to represent 30 per cent of all online retail sales and therefore the new standard will move security infrastructure beyond the PC era, supporting emerging technologies and changing consumer needs.

MasterCard is planning to utilise richer cardholder data, which will result in far fewer password interruptions at the point of sale.  In the event that an authentication challenge is needed, cardholders will be able to identify themselves with the likes of one-time passwords, or fingerprint biometrics, rather than committing static passwords to memory, the company says.

“All of us want a payment experience that is safe as well as simple, not one or the other,” 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.”

MasterCard has been working on several other projects to simplify payments security. Most recently, the company made an investment in wearable biometric device maker Bionym. The company’s Nymi heartbeat verification bracelet is being tested by an number of Canadian banks.

MasterCard also supported the launch of biometric payments card Zwipe, which uses a fingerprint to verify EMV payments rather than a pin, as well as allowing almost instantaneous, secure contactless transactions.

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