MasterCard has announced it will invest over $20 million in cybersecurity technology this year, including biometrics authentication.
The announcement comes amidst plans by the multinational payments technology company to launch a range of new products. These include MasterCard Safety Net, a solution providing a layer of security on top of existing protection offered by banks.
MasterCard will also be investing in biometrics authentication technology. This year will see the rollout of a pilot programme, in collaboration with First Tech Federal Credit Union, which will verify transactions using biometrics including facial and voice recognition and fingerprint scanning.
The biometrics sector is set to take off in coming years and is expected to see widespread acceptance by consumers, especially in the younger generations. For example, a recent survey by Visa Europe found 75% of 16 to 24-year-olds (sometimes known as "Generation Z") said they would be happy to use biometric security for payments, with 69% believing it would be faster and easier than other methods.
"These new activities will help us continue to deliver the tools and solutions that instill a peace of mind by protecting each transaction that crosses our network," said Chris McWilton, president, North American Markets, MasterCard.
"While progress is being made with the move to EMV and mobile payments, our continued investments reinforce the efforts we are taking to protect the payments system for cardholders, merchants and issuers. That’s at the heart of what our cardholders expect when they see our brand mark."