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Overcoming mobile biometric challenges: Mastercard and University of Oxford collaborate on new research initiative

The vast majority of consumers—93%—prefer biometrics over passwords for authenticating payments or other financial services. This comes as no surprise, as using biometrics (think a fingerprint or iris scan) is more secure and eliminates the hassle of having to recall a password. However, while 92% of banking professionals want to adopt biometric technology, execution has been inconsistent and only 36% of relevant executives feel they have adequate experience to deliver.

To address this challenge, Mastercard and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford joined forces to explore this fast-evolving technology and develop guidelines designed to help banks understand and successfully bring mobile biometrics to life. A comprehensive research report, “Mobile Biometrics in Financial Services: A Five Factor Framework”, is now available.

Ajay Bhalla, president, Global Enterprise Risk & Security, Mastercard, commented on the research project in a blog published today, saying:

“Effective mobile biometrics melt into the broader experience of consumer-centric financial services, giving people the power to instantly access their financial information or make a payment. They’re driving the trend toward a password-free future where digital identity is all about who we are, not what we remember.”

With a focus on improving both consumer experience and security, Mastercard has been a driver of biometric technology in payments. Mastercard Identity Check Mobile, now available in countries around the world, dramatically speeds up the digital checkout experience while also improving security. Cardholders verify their identity by using the fingerprint scanner on their smartphone or via facial recognition technology by taking a “selfie.”

Considering that global sales of smartphones are expected to reach $400 billion by next year, people everywhere will increasingly have access to the tool that makes mobile biometrics possible. With initiatives like the collaboration with the University of Oxford, Mastercard is stepping up to shepherd widespread and responsible adoption of mobile biometric solutions in financial services.

As Bhalla continued, “This framework is fundamental to accelerating the deployment of mobile biometrics for consumers and industry alike, but collaboration is key. We can only achieve this if industry, academia, governments and technology vendors understand and contribute to the evolution of the Five Factor Framework for mobile biometrics.”

An Opus Research synopsis of the research contains a breakdown of the critical issues financial service companies need to address to successfully guide their businesses through the biometric journey, ensuring they’re making the right decisions every step of the way. The white paper is now available here. In addition, a webinar on the Five Factor Framework will be hosted by Opus, in collaboration with Mastercard, on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 12:30 GMT. Register here to secure your place:

For more information about security at Mastercard, visit

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