Mastercard scraps passwords in online security drive

Credit card security

Mastercard and Visa are developing a new authentication solution that will end the need for pesky verification codes when making online payments.

At the moment, before the checkout for an online purchasing process is complete, you're asked to enter a Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode - usually random numbers and letters from a secondary password.

After taking onboard customer feedback, the companies decided to work on a solution that would end the need to remember an extra password in order to complete purchases.

Mastercard said it will use richer cardholder data, so although you may need to input more information in the first step, there's a possibility the second-level authentication will use biometric data or one-time passwords rather than everytime passwords. The company said biometric information could be facial or voice recognition.

We want to identify people for who they are, not what they remember

The company will also trial wristbands that could authenticate your identity though your heart beat, making use of the power of wearables.

The new technology could roll out as soon as next year, although the new security solution has to go through testing to ensure it's as secure as the current 3D Secure protocol.

Ajay Bhalla, president of Enterprise Security Solutions, MasterCard said: "All of us want a payment experience that is safe as well as simple, not one or the other. 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 said payments on mobile devices will be responsible for 30 per cent of all online sales by 2018, making the need for a simple and secure solution all the more urgent.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.