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Payment card firms planning to make online shopping more secure

03 December 2014 - 12:13 by Paul Tissington

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MasterCard and Visa have announced plans to roll out a new security standard for making payments when carrying out safe shopping online, with the idea being that the checkout process will become quicker and easier for consumers.

The payment card firms are hoping that, ultimately, they will reduce the need for people to input passwords and go through long log-in or signup processes when they want to buy something on an e-commerce site. Instead, secure payments can be made without forcing people to remember passwords.

MasterCard spokesperson, Ajay Bhalla, said that consumers were after both safety and simplicity when shopping online, with most people being unwilling to compromise on either element. At the moment, there are some less than ideal solutions in place to ensure that payments are secure, which in turn, lead to practical problems with the flow of the e-commerce process.

The specialist teams at MasterCard and Visa are working on a way to make the authentication of payments made via safe shopping online easier to assess. Early trials are deploying the use of a code sent to consumers’ mobile phones, which can be input when they make a purchase.

Ultimately, Bhalla believes that e-commerce sites will use other methods to prove a customer’s identity, citing everything from facial recognition to fingerprint scanning as good alternatives to current systems.

Of course, fingerprints are already being used by Apple to help identify users of its iPhone range, as well as authorise payments on the App Store. So perhaps this will pave the way for similar systems to crop up elsewhere.

Whatever the case, it does seem that consumers will need new devices to make sure that payments are properly authorised online, especially if they want total safety on tap.