With President Obama's recent executive order promoting private sector cybersecurity and information sharing, it is timely that Mastercard is stepping up its protection of consumer data and financial safety. Will their competitors follow suit? With the recent focus on the issue of digital security, from both inside finance and outside, it is likely to be focal point of the FinTech industry for some time.
MasterCard says it will invest an additional $20 million in cyber-security measures this year, including biometric protection for mobile apps, and early warning alerts on potential threat vectors. This spring, MasterCard will launch Safety Net, an initiative designed to reduce the risk of fraud or cyberattacks before issuers and processors might notice the threat. The card scheme says Safety Net will provide "an independent layer of security on top of the tools and policies of financial institutions, by monitoring and blocking specific transactions based on selected criteria". The application uses algorithms to score and monitor different channels, geographies, and business sectors, and is designed to intervene only in extreme cases to block fraudulent activity.