Tuesday 21 May 2019

Biometric payments may become centre stage for Irish consumers as new EU rules come into force

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Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Irish consumers may be turning to biometric payments as soon as next year as traditional password authentication has become outdated.

New EU regulation coming into force next September will require additional security, with payments to have at least two factors of authentication.

"The use of passwords to authenticate someone is significantly outdated, with people forgetting them and retailers facing abandoned shopping baskets," Sonya Geelon, Country Manager, Mastercard in Ireland said.

"In payments technology this is something we’re closing in on as we move from cash to card, password to thumbprint, and beyond to innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence. It’s far easier to authenticate with a thumbprint or a selfie, and it’s safer too."

The European Banking Authority’s Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on common and secure communication (CSC) and strong customer authentication (SCA) were published in March.

Aiming to tackle online fraud, the rules intend to increase the number of transactions subject to two factors of authentication by the payer.

According to Mastercard, this means that 25pc of online sales will be subject to heightened checks and biometric payments will take centre stage here.

Currently, just 1-2pc of online transactions in Ireland require cardholder authentication, through 3D Secure, to complete a transaction.

However, the card provider maintains that this is set to rise to up to 1 in 4 payments from next autumn.

While the new regulations will largely impact card payments made online, it will also apply to some contactless transactions periodically.

At present, however, in store chip and pin transactions are already compliant by using two factors.

Authentication for online payments and account access will be based on the use of two or more different factors in the future:

  • Something you know, such as a password
  • Something you have, such as a phone, or card
  • Something you are, such as a fingerprint

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