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What is Mastercard Identity Check?

Mastercard Identity Check helps to prevent the unauthorised use of your Mastercard debit or credit card. It adds an automatic extra layer of security by checking your identity when you shop online at participating retailers. It’s free to sign up. All you need to do is contact your card issuer - providing your card is classed as a Mastercard.

3 min read
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How does Mastercard Identity Check work? 

Once you've signed up, there will be an additional security step when you go to buy something online. As part of the checkout process, you’ll: 

1. Be prompted to enter a one-off passcode (OTP) sent to you by SMS. This will help the bank to confirm that you are who you say you are – and prevent identity fraud.   

2. Your Mastercard Identity Check details will be used to quickly check with the bank that you are the authorised account holder. These details won’t be shared with the retailer. 

3. Once this has been confirmed, your transaction will complete. (However, if you enter your details incorrectly the purchase will be rejected). 

Tip: If you forget your Mastercard Identity Check details, get in touch with your card issuer to reset them. 

What do you need to be able to use Mastercard Identity Check? 

This service only applies to debit and credit cards issued by a Mastercard bank. Plus, the online retailer you’re using must also be a participant in the scheme. 

Many (but not all) browsers support Mastercard Identity Check. However, you should still be wary of window pop-up prevention software. This can interfere with the Mastercard Identity Check function.

If you're unsure, or if you’re struggling to make a purchase, temporarily disable the software and that might make a difference. 

How can you identify participating retailers? 

The Mastercard Identity Check logo shows that you’re dealing with a participating retailer. 

Before you complete the transaction, check that the purchase details are correct and the website appears to be above board. If you are at all suspicious, you can call the phone number on the back of your card and report it. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Mastercard Identity Check is just one security measure that credit card providers are adopting. Others may use similar methods to verify your identity.

Entering a passcode each time you make a purchase online may be a minor inconvenience, but with the rates of identity theft showing no signs of slowing, it's a necessary one. It gives you additional peace-of-mind when shopping online. 

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