European consumers can now validate online purchases with their fingerprint or face using Mastercard’s biometric authentication service. Identity Check Mobile is now being rolled out across 12 markets: the UK, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden.
The technology’s expansion follows a series of successful trials in the Netherlands, the US and Canada and will be rolled out globally in phases next year, the payment network has confirmed.
“Mastercard Identity Check Mobile eliminates the need for cardholders to recall passwords, dramatically speeding up the digital checkout experience while also improving security,” the company says. “Instead, the cardholder can verify their identity by using the fingerprint scanner on their smartphone or via facial recognition technology by taking a selfie photo.”
Mastercard unveiled the service in October 2015 when hundreds of cardholders in the Netherlands began to test biometric-enabled payments, alongside a similar pilot in the US. Ann Cairns, the payment network’s president for international markets, revealed that the tests had “gone like wildfire” when she spoke at Money20/20 Europe in Copenhagen earlier this year.
“We are relentlessly focused on making the online payment experience near frictionless without making any compromises on safety and security,” says Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise risk and security at Mastercard.
“This is a significant milestone in the evolution of payments. Shopping in person has been revolutionised thanks to advances like contactless cards, mobile payments and wearables, and now we are making Identity Check Mobile a reality for online shopping in Europe and soon, the world.”