FIDO, the payments security consortium dedicated to improving authentication, has added American Express to the alliance and to its board of directors, with existing members Infineon and VASCO also joining the board.

Amex framed its decision to join FIDO as one that would benefit the payments and financial industries as standards for online security become more complex.

"As the lines between offline and online commerce blur, addressing identity verification for managing payments is pivotal to the future of the financial industry," Upendra Mardikar, Amex's vice president for security strategy, architecture and engineering, said in an Oct. 14 press release. "Partnering with experts in FIDO will enable American Express and the financial industry to pave the path to more secure payments."

Infineon, the German semiconductor manufacturing company, is assuming a board position having participated thus far as a founding member. Data security company VASCO is joining the board following its sponsorship of FIDO.

Their appointments to the board bring its total membership to 28. Earlier this year, Japan's NTT Docomo became the first mobile network operator to join FIDO’s board. Other members of the board include Alibaba, Discover, MasterCard, Microsoft and Visa.

FIDO, which stands for Fast IDentity Online Alliance, launched in 2013 out of Mountain View, Calif. It comprises more than 150 technology, payments and financial services companies and government agencies working to improve online security and ultimately eliminate the use of passwords.

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