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New technologies will improve security and convenience of online payments

08 October 2015 - 09:25 by Mike Price

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For many consumers in the UK, the most problematic part of any spree of shopping online takes place at the checkout. Retailers and payment companies must often negotiate choppy waters, to offer a way of handling transactions that are both safe and easy to use.

In many instances, people can find the checkout process too convoluted or slow, while others will discover that their card company has declined a legitimate payment in an overzealous attempt to prevent fraud.

This is largely due to the fact that the authentication of payments typically occurs remotely, with retailers and payment providers having to work out whether a customer is genuine or not, based on systems which can be manipulated by malicious third parties.

Now MasterCard has announced a new range of solutions, which are intended to change things for the better and make online payments secure, without making it any harder for consumers to actually buy products online.

The company commissioned a survey to inform its decisions when creating the new Identity Check system, revealing that over half of people end up forgetting passwords for online accounts. This means they then have to waste even more time resetting them manually, according to Retail Times.

As a result, the Identity Check system will, instead, be based on independent types of authentication, giving customers the option to receive time-limited passwords sent to them via text message to make a purchase, or to use biometric data, such as that gleaned from a fingerprint, to go through with a transaction.

MasterCard is hoping to start real world trials next year, before rolling it out internationally in 2017, so that a global user base can benefit from a simpler, securer way to shop online.