Mastercard’s kaleidoscope of convenience and security

WHEN consumers use Mastercard, they are assured of an optimized digital payment process through Mastercard Identity Check™. This could activate an authentication process by a merchant before authorization. As these are up and running, convenient and secure transactions are enabled. The entire process is enhanced with multiple overlays of security. Two of the many benefits of this are that transaction approvals are facilitated efficiently and issues of fraud, arising from security and data leaks, are greatly reduced. The kaleidoscope of overlapping, layering and intersecting convenience and security features thus provides improved consumer payment experiences. And with increased satisfaction on Mastercard payments also comes the assurance of augmented peace of mind.

The optimized digital payment journey begins when consumers, who are cardholders, purchase merchant goods or services online. Merchants are able to accept card payments through the facilitation of acquirers. Mastercard then operates the network between acquirers and issuers, which are the financial entities that assure payments to merchants and loan money to or store the money of cardholders. Coming full circle, the merchant accepts payment and provides the goods or services, closing the circuit of cardholder, acquirer, card corporation operator and issuer.

Card payments typically involve the two-pronged process of authentication and authorization. During the former process, issuers require cardholders to validate their identities through a two-factor authentication as requested by the merchant. With Mastercard Identity Check™, the process is streamlined while strengthened with security measures, potentially reserving the two-factored step for non-low-risk transactions, making the cardholder’s checkout experience more seamless yet secure. Once authenticated, the authorization process commences, involving singular security checks each from the acquirer and the card network to the issuer. Across all systems, the encryption strictly adheres to global ISO standards to ensure that only concerned parties are privy to the continuously updated information. In spite of obtaining approvals, merchants also have the option to employ their own security protocols and can still opt to decline transactions authorized by the issuer. What makes this all amazingly and seemingly effortless is that the entire binary process occurs within seconds.

Mastercard’s network security tool, Safety Net™, keeps the trojans of massive-scale fraud at bay not only for digital, but also for face-to-face transactions. This global network monitors purchasing habits, amounts spent over a period of time, verified discrepancies in authorization record, position and vector markers and consumer transaction profile. Issuers may also register for Mastercard Decision Intelligence, which provides analytics and additional data to score individual fraud risk and fine-tune the accuracy of approvals and declines.

Mastercard Identity Check™, the authentication assessment engine for digital transactions, is machine-learning or artificial-intelligence (AI) based and is built on the Mastercard Decision Management Platform. This innovative recipient of the Forbes 2019 CIO award leverages 10 times more analytics from card usage such as transaction, cardholder, device and merchant data. This also includes multitudinous variables from the Mastercard network for long- and short-term data such as previous risk assessments, approval history, authorization record and patterns of purchase, churning out scores for transactions within a few milliseconds. Assessed non-low-risk transactions are simply, politely requested to easily go through the aforementioned two-factor authentication (2FA) while for those with low-risk assessment, based on data and AI, issuers may decide to close the loop without 2FA to leverage Mastercard’s much lauded and colorful consumer experience.