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Mastercard calls for global online payments standard

Mastercard and its EMV partners are pushing for online payments standards similar to those for point-of-sale payments

Mastercard is pushing for a global standard for online card payments similar to existing standards for point-of-sale payments, eventually leading to a globally recognised and trusted online payment checkout button.

Global standards for point-of-sale payments have led to improvements, most notably in security, and Mastercard and its partners in the project want to emulate this for online card payments.

“We are taking the same kind of approach that we have taken to securing and improving payments at the point of sale, such as moving from mag stripe technology to chip technology, and applying a similar approach in the online world,” said Mike Cowen, vice-president digital payments at Mastercard UK.

Cowen said Europay, Mastercard, American Express, Discover and Visa,  the organisations that make up EMV, the technology behind the move from mag stripe to chip, will define the new standards for online payments.

Security is one of the main drivers, as fraudsters’ tactics evolve. “For example, we want to improve the security of online payments to include things like every payment having a dynamic cryptogram to protect information,” said Cowen.

He said the system will take advantage of the security technologies available today, such as EMV tokenisation and customer authentication mechanisms including biometrics, which will mean people do not have to remember passwords and codes.

“This is a call to action for organisations like us as well as banks and retailers,” said Cowen. “For standards to work, everybody has to participate.”

Read more about EMV

  • Visa points to a 70% drop in fraud due to EMV chip cards, as consumers and merchants adopt the new payment card technology.
  • Researchers at Black Hat 2016 poked holes in chip and PIN security by demonstrating simple attacks that can intercept EMV card transaction data, including CVV codes and PINs.
  • No industry is immune to cyber attack, and Mastercard believes the threat to the payment card industry demands a multi-layered approach.

Cowen said this is the first step in a journey and many organisations will have to make changes to support the standard. “It will include every business that is in the online payments ecosystem, from retailers to acquiring banks,” he said.

The goal is a single standard checkout button for all online payments, which engenders trust, said Cowen.

“Where we see this journey ending up is with a single common checkout button,” he said. “Regardless of what card you are paying with, you will click this one button and get a consistent user experience and all the security benefits. It will work the same way for all retailers and e-commerce gateways.”

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