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Taking Aim at Passwords

MasterCard, in conjunction with Visa, is developing a new authentication standard.

MasterCard today announced that is co-creating, along with Visa, a new authentication standard in online payment security, featuring invisible authentication and far fewer prompts for passwords.

According to MasterCard, the new approach will result in far fewer password interruptions at the point of sale. In the event that an authentication challenge is needed, cardholders will be able to identify themselves with the likes of one-time passwords, or fingerprint biometrics, rather than committing static passwords to memory, the company said.

The new standard could be adopted in 2015 and will gradually replace the current "3D Secure" protocol used in most online transactions. Other steps MasterCard said it is taking toward a password-free environment include piloting commercial tests for facial and voice recognition apps to authenticate cardholders and conducting trials of a wristband, which authenticates cardholders through their unique cardiac rhythms.

“All of us want a payment experience that is safe as well as simple, not one or the other," said Ajay Bhalla, president of Enterprise Security Solutions at MasterCard, in a prepared statement. "We want to identify people for who they are, not what they remember. We have too many passwords to remember and this creates extra problems for consumers and businesses.”

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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fermat
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fermat,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/26/2016 | 2:08:55 PM
Pending Review
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Jonathan_Camhi
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Jonathan_Camhi,
User Rank: Author
11/30/2014 | 10:08:00 PM
Re: New ideas
I think people will respond to whatever is the most convenient way for them to authenticate themselves. Biometrics definitely is more convenient than having to type a password and username, but which type of biometric (eye scan vs. voice vs. fingerprint) will win out is still very up in the air. People are starting to get used to the fingerprint model thanks to Apple though.
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
11/29/2014 | 4:40:27 PM
Re: About Time
The sooner we can look back on the days of passwords with character, number and capital letter combos, the better.
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
11/29/2014 | 4:38:57 PM
Re: About Time
I'm all in favor for alternatives to passwords, wahtever they are. If wristbands are going to become a reality, I think they'll be one of many options (rings? key fobs?). It will be interesting to see how technologies learn to sync with all the different pw tools that come to market.
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Author
11/29/2014 | 4:34:46 PM
New ideas
Unique cardiac rhythms, i'm impressed with this very out-of-the-box approach. Are most wearables even advanced enough for this? Do you think the public will respond favorably to this type of approach?
Jonathan_Camhi
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Jonathan_Camhi,
User Rank: Author
11/23/2014 | 9:01:02 PM
Re: About Time
I think in the near-term we will start to see a lot more password manager solutions coming ot market. But I hope that passwords are a thing of the past in the very near future.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
11/20/2014 | 2:50:52 PM
Re: About Time
Totally agree - it seems like I have 500 different passwords and can never keep them straight! Any of these technologies would make a good substitute. I'm especially intrigued by the wristband; haven't heard of anything like that before.
Jonathan_Camhi
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Jonathan_Camhi,
User Rank: Author
11/17/2014 | 4:39:16 PM
About Time
This is a much needed step. There is nothing good about the current username/password paradigm. They are bad for security and the customer experience. And there are a range of new technologies that are mentioned here that can get rid of that paradigm.
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