During a 24-hour hackathon hosted by Mastercard, I collaborated with a cross-discipline team of UX Design, Data Science, Web Development, and Digital Marketing. To increase online transaction security, we created Mastercard Choice, a biometric authentication feature available for current Mastercard users.


UX Designer






1st Place




The global digital payments industry is expected to be valued at $6.6 trillion in 2021, but the number of identity theft reports are also on pace to surpass the record set in 2017. Credit card fraud is the most rampant theft, meaning security becomes a top priority for all companies as online transactions increase.

"How might we increase the security of online digital transactions through innovative digital solutions, for the widest range of users?"

Secondary Research

Instead of designing a new app, we explored existing Mastercard features and found Click-to-Pay, a payment system giving consumers access to all of their credit cards with a single button. Was there an opportunity to make this more secure? Consumers preferred biometrics for its increased security measures, but weren't familiar on how to use it, nor were their bank or device using it [1]. We aimed to address this

“Consumers want the choice to use multiple types of biometric payments ... depending on where and when a transaction will take place"

What are Biometrics?

Let's define biometrics: body measurements and calculations related to human attributes. Authentication involves fingerprints, retina scans, voice, facial recognition, and is seen as the most effective method available due to the difficulty in replicating physical & vocal features [2]. As a market that's expected to hit $30 billion by 2021, 93% of consumers prefer biometrics over passwords, and 92% of banks want to adopt it. 


Based on our research, we created a proto-persona; an "assumption" of our target users. As an avid online shopper who has experienced credit card fraud, they would like to shop without worry; this was important for us to consider at all times while ideating a solution involving biometrics.


Mastercard Choice

By considering the functionality of popular digital payment services like Apple Pay/Google Payand a facial recognition payment service like Saffe, we designed Mastercard Choice. An enhanced security feature that combines Click-to-Pay and biometrics with an option to choose face, touch and/or voice recognition.


How it works: Onboarding

Starting with Mastercard's existing web application, we sketched a set of user onboarding screens to enable Mastercard Choice's biometric authentication. Using Figma, we designed these into hi-fidelity wireframes.


How it works: Usage

You're wondering: "How is it used?". When completing a digital transaction, users can tap the Mastercard Choice button and payment is then authenticated using the previously-setup biometric. We sketched another set of screens to show this in an e-commerce site; shopping online without worry is now possible!


Presenting our Solution

Our 24-hours was nearing its end, thus we handed off our designs to the Developers, who coded the prototype onto a live Github site. After presenting to Mastercard's technology team, they decided that our biometric solution, which considered the widest range of users, garnered a 1st place finish, out of 7 teams.

What did I learn?

I had to quickly adapt to working with other disciplines in a Hackathon setting, and fortunately enough, following the Discover, Define, Design, Deliver design process helped tremendously. Granted, if we had more time, we would have presented multiple biometrics in our Github prototype.

Specifically, I learned to: make quick & efficient decisions, as a hackathon solution that addresses everything is not feasible, keep open communication, as all disciplines must be on the same page, and lastly, prevent groupthink, as contributing a pool of ideas is more effective than agreeing to a single idea.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” - Steve Jobs

“If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.” - Albert Einstein

© 2021 Anthony Chow