MasterCard to Start Using Fingerprints?

| by Michael Allen

MasterCard is the first major payment network to join the FIDO Alliance, which some observers believe is the first step for the credit card company to start using fingerprints to identify card users.

The FIDO Alliance is reportedly creating an industry standard for fingerprints to be used for identification online, which would replace passwords.

Tech giant Google is part of the FIDO Alliance. Cell phones that use Google’s Android operating system will reportedly start using fingerprint sensors in 2014.

“Our involvement with the FIDO Alliance, as well as other activities across the industry, will help deliver strong security for consumers, merchants and issuers, as well as a great consumer experience,” Ed McLaughlin, MasterCard’s chief emerging payments officer, told USA Today.

However, the fingerprint scanner in the new iPhone 5s has been circumvented several times, reports NBC News.

Tech geeks around the world have opened the iPhone 5s with a photo of a fingerprint, a cat’s paw and even their nipples.

While these are not technically hacks, they do show the vulnerability of using fingerprints instead of passwords for security.

In a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) warned: “If someone hacks your password, you can change it, as many times as you want. You can’t change your fingerprints. You only have 10 of them.”

Sources:, USA Today, NBC News