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Reinventing Authentication in the Digital World

By Jamila Hunter, Rajat Maheshwari - Directors, Cyber & Intelligence Solutions, Product Development and Innovation, Mastercard

Jamila Hunter, Rajat Maheshwari - Directors, Cyber & Intelligence Solutions, Product Development and Innovation, Mastercard

Picture a world where people can verify their identity immediately, safely and securely, where access is gained without remembering a complicated password, and no identifying data is given away or at risk. It’s how you prove “I am me” without any doubt.

We often find ourselves managing dozens of accounts, each with its own password or credential. More digital solutions mean more passwords. And these passwords are “something you know”, not “something you are.” If we happen to forget that thing we know, we get locked out.

We’re in the midst of an identity verification evolution. Historically, signatures served an important purpose as the standard to verify identity and reduce fraud. Then PINS and passwords were added to the mix to further minimize fraud. But now, identity is no longer linked to a signature or a 4-digit PIN.

With the proliferation of digital payments, physical cards linked to a person’s mobile device, tablet and wearable have been added to the mix. This extension, together with more stringent regulatory and security requirements, has allowed for a combination of authentication factors to confirm a person’s identity.

At Mastercard, we believe a Strong Customer Authentication is the best defense to mitigate and stop fraud. But to be clear, multi-layered does not mean more work for you. Gone are the days when there was a trade-off between security and convenience.

Connected Intelligence

One way we’re delivering on this is through a combination of passive biometrics, behavioral metrics, AI and advanced risk assessment tools that work together to assess transactions more accurately than ever before. In essence, we’re replacing the password with the person. It’s about recognizing them, rather than challenging them. We call the process Connected Intelligence, but the individual experiences it as a one-click payment –legitimate transactions are far more likely to be immediately approved without challenge. From the moment the consumer arrives on a merchant site right through to settlement, our network of Connected Intelligence technologies is assessing risk, enabling better decisions and optimizing the consumer experience.

Mastercard Identity Check makes Connected Intelligence possible. It enables individuals to use biometric identifiers, such as fingerprint, face or voice, to verify their identity using a mobile device during online shopping and banking activities. By replacing the password with the person, we speed up the digital checkout time, improve security and reduce abandonment rates. More than 90% of people see biometrics as more secure and more convenient than passwords.

Currently, there are more than 130,000 global merchants enrolled in Identity Check in 37 countries. Another Mastercard solution, Smart Authentication, employs Risk-Based Authentication (RBA) to further reduce the likelihood of false declines and unnecessary consumer friction, while Decision Intelligence uses AI to help issuers make smarter approval decisions. As these solutions demonstrate, Mastercard is continuously innovating to provide safe and secure ways to pay and reinvent authentication in the digital world.

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