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Beyond the Transaction: Every Transaction Has a Story

What’s Next: Three Ways to Keep Mobile Payments Secure

Editor’s Note: At Mobile World Congress 2015, MasterCard is participating in a discussion on the future of mobile to learn more about what’s next in digital commerce. We’re hosting a “What’s Next” in mobile series on our blog, inviting others to share perspectives.

What's Next

If consumers’ fears about fraud can dampen their enthusiasm for e-commerce, what does this mean for the adoption of mobile payments?

Of course, where money goes, fraudsters will follow, but new security innovations can address those same consumer concerns. The advancement of these technologies has the potential to make mobile payments more secure than the systems we use now. The challenge the industry faces is to ensure this is done from a consumer perspective, to ensure that their experience is far more satisfying in its simplicity.

We are looking at this in three interconnected areas.

The first is verifying the device – a crucial aspect to this is tokenization, where a unique digital credential is bound to a particular device and their card. It can be activated and blocked in the same way a card can, without affecting the rest of the apps and data on the device. And with each transaction we generate a secure one-time code. This is a feature of Apple Pay but we want to drive this beyond onto other devices and operating systems.


The second is verifying the consumer.  Consumers want security but they don’t want it to get in the way.  What we are testing now will let payment convenience take center stage. We must not rely solely on one authenticator.

And this is where we will see passwords kicked into the long grass in favor of biometrics – and not just a fingerprint.  We are in active commercial trials with other partners for voice and facial recognition, and even cardio rhythm recognition. Shoppers need to have the choice to identify themselves in different ways based on personal preference or the environment they are in.

The third area is not just about the security of the transaction but of the data itself, where we maintain the privacy of the consumer, and meeting regulatory needs.

Mobile payments will only be adopted when these three areas are developed in harmony. We have a great deal of work to do here, and adoption won’t take place overnight.  But mobile devices are presenting us with a wealth of new security measures that will give consumers more confidence and more convenience.

For more information on MasterCard at Mobile World Congress check out our Digital Press Kit