Take a Selfie to Process an Online Payment

MasterCard is working on a process to accept selfies and fingerprints as a new alternative to passwords to accept online payments.

MasterCard is working on a process to accept selfies and fingerprints as a new alternative to passwords to accept online payments. The question remains if it is more secure than the traditional password.

MasterCard’s Research and Development department, has announced the development at the Mobile World Congress and said it’s planning to role out this new feature this summer in the US, UK, and Canada. Also in Europe we have the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark that is on the list also for the roll-out.

The system they are working on will require members to download an app to their PC, tablet, or smartphone.

The system, which will only kick in when further authentication is required, will ask the members to look at their phone’s camera or use the phone’s fingerprint sensor to verify their identity rather than using a password.

To improve security, they added a nice little feature to this system.  For the person prove that they are real and it’s not just a photo of someone, they will be asked to blink into their camera while taking the selfie.

Biometrics is the Future of Payments

MasterCard is already providing a two-factor authentication service called SecureCode, which requires an additional password when shopping online and was used in over three billion transactions last year.

MasterCard is banking on the popularity of the selfie among today’s youth as a way of encouraging higher levels of security to be seamless for online payments.

Apple and Samsung Pay is igniting a payment revolution by making use of the iPhone and Samsung phone’s fingerprint reader as a way of validating payments.

While both Windows 10 and Android operating system can allow members to unlock devices by looking at the cameras, MasterCard will be the first to allow members to use selfies to verify that payments are authentic.

Early Adopters Love Selfie Payments

One of the first countries that is getting to experience the technology is the Netherlands where Dutch consumers are open to biometrics instead of using passwords.

It is estimated that about 750 cardholders are using biometrics like selfies and fingerprint payments for the past six months without the need for passwords or confirmation codes.

People are finding out about this new authentication method, and the vast majority want to continue to use a fingerprint and/or facial recognition to complete a payment instead of using passwords.

Arjan Bol, Country Manager of MasterCard Netherlands said:

The Dutch consumer is very progressive in embracing new technologies. Our country is the international leader in easy, safe and efficient payments. We are now examining the possibilities to integrate our technology in the banking and tech giants’ apps to make payment using a selfie or fingerprint even easier.

Of the surveyed people, 95 percent of the fingerprint users and 80 percent of the facial recognition users are showing that online shopping became way more convenient using the biometric authentication.

André IJbema, Risk Manager at International Card Services for Mastercard said:

Biometrics, unlike passwords, ensures convenience. People forget passwords, making the payment process unnecessarily long and complex, so we expect that passwords will slowly become obsolete in favour of a more user-friendly alternative, such as biometrical identification.


Categories: Security, Software

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