The signature as a means to identify transactions is going the way of the Dodo bird. Presented with difficult identity confirmation brought about by online purchasing, credit card companies are scrambling for a solution to the fraud the new world presents. MasterCard Europe believes they’ve a nifty solution.
Actually, MasterCard has two solutions. By harnessing the power of the ubiquitous mobile phone, MasterCard will SMS customers an authentication password for a card-not-present transaction. These are the transactions where you are not face to face with the merchant and you are simply entering in your credit card number. This password will be unique to the purchase at hand, your next intended purchase would yield another SMS and another password.
The other solution is an app that resides on smartphones or java based phones. The app would generate the password for authentication purposes after the customers PIN is entered. By self serving themselves, customers would be able to control the experience a bit more instead of relying on a response.
The solutions do come with some concerns. The first is SMS delivery needs to be speedy. Those of us in the US know that sometimes, SMS messages take a while to filter through the system and get to us. Perhaps it is different in Europe. The second solution is a bit more involved as MasterCard would have to develop apps for different OS and connectivity issues.
Either way, these look to advance identity theft prevention. Just don’t keep your wallet and and phone in the same purse, huh?
Image credit: Morganhill Review