MasterCard and BMO are bringing biometric verification to corporate cards

MasterCard has teamed up with the BMO Financial Group for the rollout of a biometric verification program for corporate credit cards, which will allow card holders in the U.S. and Canada to confirm online purchases with either their fingerprint or using facial recognition. Verification will take place through MasterCard's Identity Check app, and the program will at first be limited to corporate cards issued to BMO employees in the U.S. and Canada.

When using a card with this program to make a purchase, cardholders will be prompted by the Identity Check app either to scan their fingerprint or take a selfie for facial recognition. When your identity has been verified, you'll be returned to the merchant to complete your purchase.

While the rollout is limited for now, the program will receive a wider rollout later this year. Cardholders participating in this program can grab the MasterCard Identity Check app from the Google Play Store now.

Press release:

BMO Financial Group and MasterCard Begin Roll-Out of First in Canada and U.S. Biometric Corporate Card Program

Corporate cardholders will be able to use selfies and fingerprint scans to verify their identify when making online purchases

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 23, 2016) - BMO Financial Group (BMO) and MasterCard today marked the beginning of a phased launch of the first biometric corporate credit card program in Canada and the U.S. that will enable cardholders to verify transactions using facial recognition and fingerprint biometrics when making online purchases.

The introduction of this technology will increase security when making payments that don't include a face-to-face interaction, and will be integrated seamlessly for easy use in reducing the likelihood of a card being used by anyone who is not the cardholder.

Beginning with corporate cards issued to BMO employees in Canada and the U.S., the MasterCard Identity Check mobile app will prompt participants to:

  • Scan fingerprints or snap selfies to validate their identities via biometrics; and
  • When verified, return to the merchant site to complete the online purchase

"The use of biometric technology has become more common for consumers looking for convenient and secure ways to make purchases using their smartphones, so this was the natural next step for us as innovators in the payment security space," said Steve Pedersen, Vice President, Head, North American Corporate Card Products, BMO Financial Group. "Mitigating the risk of fraud is always our top priority, and the inclusion of this technology is going to make payment authentication easier, and strengthen the security of the entire payments ecosystem."

Mr. Pedersen added that the first phase will test the potential of delivering greater security and convenience using BMO employee corporate cardholders in the U.S. and Canada, including establishing and improving best practices in corporate environments, developing better protection against potential fraud and continually minimizing the need for customer service inquiries. Once complete, the next phase will be to make the technology available to customers more broadly beginning in the summer of 2016.

"With BMO, MasterCard is hosting our first Canadian and U.S. corporate card biometric user engagement. It's always exciting to introduce biometrics to new cardholders. They quickly realize that they don't have to sacrifice convenience for security. By snapping a selfie or scanning a fingerprint, the person becomes the password," said Catherine Murchie, Senior Vice President of North America Processing, Enterprise Security & Network Solutions for MasterCard.

Joseph Keller