MasterCard is Testing Password Alternatives

MasterCard is currently using a password system called SecureCode.  The SecureCode system is basically a password that users enter when they make online purchases.  In the not so distant future MasterCard users may smile rather than enter their password.  MasterCard is testing a new idea by which they will capture a selfie to verify the cardholders identity rather than require a password.  Their new mobile app will use either facial recognition (selfie) or a fingerprint to confirm your identity.

Selfie

Password Alternative #1 – Selfies

We’re all for password alternatives.  The use of passwords is anything but secure.  However, the use of our likeness brings it’s own list of security and privacy concerns.  MasterCard has thought of one of them.  If you use a facial recognition app to verify identity then a criminal could grab a pic of the user to fool the system.  In response the new MasterCard mobile app will have you blink once to verify your identity.  The new “selfie” app is being tested with a group of 500 credit card users.

Password Alternative #2 – Fingerprints

The new MasterCard mobile app will replace SecureCode with either a selfie or your fingerprint.  The choice is made by the user.  MasterCard won’t be the first to use fingerprints and other password alternatives.  The use of your fingerprint is pretty straight forward.  My first thought was that I don’t want my fingerprint in a MasterCard data warehouse.  The company has stated that your fingerprint data will be kept encrypted and never leave your phone.  In comparison, the facial recognition data would be sent over the Internet which is more concerning.

Password Alternative #3 – Voice

The final password alternative MasterCard is interested in testing is voice recognition.  It will be interesting to see how they implement voice recognition into the mobile app.  I could think of a number of scenarios including a common cold that could get in the way of recognizing a user’s voice.  Having multiple options will give users more choices when verifying their identity for payment.  How long will it be before retina scan makes the list?  Perhaps not as long as you might think.  We’ll keep you posted.  You can follow us @VPNFan for the latest updates.