Mastercard and Microsoft spent three days hacking together and came up with a new service to make shopping online easier and more secure around the world, not only for shoppers, but also retailers and banks.
Mastercard is a leading technology company in the payments space, processing about $20 billion in transactions a day across more than 210 countries or territories. And Microsoft is one of the top e-commerce merchants in the world, with online sales from the Microsoft Store, Xbox, Azure, Office 365 and more.
The companies brought together teams of engineers at the recent Microsoft global Hackathon at Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters to make online payments easier and secure.
Mastercard palready rovides payment services to Microsoft’s online stores, and Microsoft sells technology services back. So the Hackathon teams experimented with ways to securely store payment info, exchange credentials and authenticate identity with biometrics – using a PC to make a theoretical purchase of a game on the Microsoft Store as a trial.
The Hackathon teams decided to leverage the infrastructure Microsoft already has with its Windows Hello technology, which allows Windows 10 users to access their devices with a fingerprint or facial recognition, instead of a password. They came up with a new feature that screens the user’s biometrics again and then, as long as they match the Windows Hello identification, automatically authenticates the buyer and approves purchases. The new service will give banks and merchants the assurance they’re dealing with actual customers, and shoppers won’t have to go through additional steps to prove themselves.
The solution can be used across many types of computers, laptops and tablets, without requiring people to own or use a specific device, as the mobile-phone offerings do.