Mastercard Aims for Convenience and Security

by Raymond Pucci 0

You can’t have one without the other. Credit card transaction convenience and security, that is. According to the following article, Mastercard is striving to combine the best of both worlds into a market share growth strategy by meeting consumer expectations.

As the competition in the payments industry heats up with new technologies and competing platforms, companies in this sector must use laser-like focus to develop products that customers want and will use. In the payments industry, this usually means one of two things: 1) Ensuring all transactions are secure and safe; and 2) Removing friction from the payments process so that making purchases is as convenient as possible.

While this is common sense, there is plenty of data to back up these assumptions. In Total System Services, Inc.’s 2016 U.S. Consumer Payments Study, a whopping 74% of all respondents said they would choose the credit card with the best security features over the credit card with the best rewards. The 2016 North America Consumer Digital Payments Survey released by Accenture also emphasized the importance of trust with a payments provider, stating, “Trust is the foundation of consumer relationships with payments providers. Consumers expect them to secure their money, protect their personal data, and prevent and safeguard against fraud.”

Most famously, and undoubtedly a nod to the rise of the millennial consumer, the company launched its selfie security platform throughout 2016 in markets around the globe. More formally called Mastercard Identity Check, the program uses unique biometric characteristics such as a fingerprint or face, to authenticate a payment for online purchases. The feature sends a message to the purchaser who must then either use their fingerprint or take a selfie on their phone before the payment is authorized. In 2016, this feature was launched in 16 different markets around the globe.

Mastercard is on the right track but won’t be alone among card networks to ensure they meet the behavioral needs of their customers. Security is the toughest challenge to overcome as fraudsters keep finding holes in credit card data files and other payment transaction vulnerabilities. As passwords go the way of the buggy whip, more reliable authentication and identification methods using biometrics are the best way to raise security protection and consumer confidence along with it.

Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Services at Mercator Advisory Group

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