MasterCard eyes Africa growth on enhanced security

NuDetect identifies real users over fraudulent ones based on their online, mobile, and smartphone interactions. FILE PHOTO | NMG

American payments giant MasterCard will ride on its enhanced payment security to make deeper penetration into the African market amid increasing concerns over payments security.

The firm’s General Counsel Tim Murphy who recently visited Nairobi said Mastercard will heavily rely on its acquisition of global technology company NuData to beef up security for its payment system and win confidence in the largely untapped African market where nearly 95 per cent of retail transactions still happen in cash.

NuData's flagship product, NuDetect, identifies real users over fraudulent ones based on their online, mobile, and smartphone interactions.

“The use of behavioural analytics is a whole new game changer in the way payments fraud can be detected and deterred and since the security of customers is the ultimate concern for shoppers and merchants, we hope to capture a significant chunk of this untapped market,” Mr Murphy said.

The legal expert, who is also responsible for Mastercard’s franchise, corporate security, privacy and global inclusion teams said the use of passive biometrics to gauge whether a transaction was fraudulent was a new high in fortifying customer security amid rising breaches on other layers of security like the use of personal identification numbers (PIN).

Passive biometrics include inherent user behaviours that are unique to an individual and which the payment devices ‘learn’ and use to tell whether the transaction is being conducted by the right person.

Banks and financial instructions authorising card payments made through machines or virtual cards can then use NuDetect to flag these accounts for you so you can close them and avoid future fraud.

Mastercard is banking on NuDetect which analyses hundreds of data points in real time to identify anomalous or risky behavioural interactions.

By using unique human behaviours like how fast one types their passwords and PINs, the angle at which one holds a phone, how much pressure one applies on the keys and how one positions their head while using a device and hundreds of other behavioural patterns, the payment system is then enabled to recognise legitimate customers by analysing how they behave.

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