Visa, MasterCard Seek New Methods of Authentication


The future of credit card anti-fraud technology is here…and it looks a lot like something out of Minority Report!

Credit card cartels reaching for new authentication methods

Over the next few weeks, your Visa issuer may ask you if its OK for them to track the location of your cellphone. Before you get freaked out about another intrusion of privacy, consider this: You have your smartphone on you all the time. So if you’re on the East Coast with your phone and a credit card charge pops up across the country on the West Coast, chances are that’s fraud.

The other initiative Visa is undertaking is tokenization. So when you buy something online, you will have a token that transmits a unique transaction code instead of your usual credit card number. Even if a crook breaks into the payment processing database, they just get a one-time use code.

Mastercard is trying a different direction and it involves biometrics. They will offer you the choice of finger print matching or facial or voice recognition. Let’s face it: Nobody knows who you are when you use plastic. So there’s a real need to authenticate.

Not to be too dramatic, but I’ve heard some people say we’re approaching what we saw in 2002’s Minority Report.

The Tom Cruise flick was prescient in many of its predictions. In the film, Cruise gets implanted with a new pair of eyes on the black market to effectively change his identity in a world where everything is done by retinal scan.

As Cruise walks into a GAP store, he’s addressed with a “Hello, Mr. Yakamoto” by a saleswoman’s hologram…because that’s the name of the person whose eyes he got in a retinal transplant!

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