MasterCard Will Soon Let You Confirm Purchases With A Selfie


MasterCard has built a new method of mobile payment that lets you confirm a transaction with a selfie.

The new smartphone feature will allow online shoppers to verify payments using facial recognition.

The service will act as an extra layer of security for payment transactions, as by itself, facial recognition is less secure than “pattern, PIN or password”, according to Google.

Speaking to CNN, Ajay Bhalla, MasterCard’s Chief Product Security Officer, said: “Passwords are a pain. They are a real problem. People forget it, people write it in places, and they get very surprised when a hacker gets into a particular website, then knows the password to all their accounts.

“When consumers shop on the internet, their banks need ways to verify their identity, so this product seamlessly integrates biometrics into the overall payments experience.”

When a consumer makes a payment, the MasterCard app asks you to choose whether to verify the transaction by fingerprint, or by face.

In order for the technology to confirm it is you, the user must blink – which is designed to stop someone simply holding up a photo of you to the camera.

The upcoming feature would be an option instead of “SecureCode”, a MasterCard feature that lets customers input a special password when they are shopping online, so someone who had your card couldn’t buy anything online.

MasterCard’s mobile facial recognition feature is currently in trial with 500 users in the US.

Alibaba are also working on using similar facial recognition software to authorise mobile payment transfers, called “smile to pay”.

This is using Face++’s software, a Chinese startup already used by Jiayuan and Alibaba, which just raised an extra $25m in Series B funding.

Simon Edmunds

Simon is the former editor of Global Dating Insights. Born in Newcastle, he has an English degree from Queen Mary, London and after working for the NHS, trained as a journalist with the Press Association. Passionate about music, journalism and Newcastle United.

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