We’ve all taken selfies. No point denying it. But what if you actually had a use for those photos you take even with a bad hair day? Well that’s precisely what MasterCard is experimenting with. They are currently working on a system that makes use of biometrics which in turn would allow users to pay with a touch of a finger or a by taking a selfie upon checkout.
MasterCard hopes to launch said pilot program with 500 participants within the coming months in order to develop said features, thus alleviating the need to authorize purchases with a password.
Currently, MasterCard uses a SecureCode service that requires a customer to enter a password after the checkout process in order to protect against unauthorized credit card use. Even though biometric recognition technology seems the next logical step, it still requires an authentication procedure.
All one needs to do is simply download the MasterCard app on their smartphone. Once done and at the checkout stage, the app will request authorization before payment is submitted.
As for authorization, this can be one of two methods. One being fingerprint recognition which requires users to touch their device thus confirming identity, or secondly where users look at their camera in order to map their faces. Interestingly, blinking while taking said selfie would actually prevent a thief from holding a photograph in front of the camera in an attempt to fool it. Looks foolproof indeed.
MasterCard will not retain any details of fingerprints or faces scanned even though they state that they can reconstruct a face from all information stored.
In early 2015, MasterCard announced that it would be boosting its efforts in cybersecurity for both online and mobile transactions and as such, invested more than $20 million in the technology. They spoke about plans they had to operate a biometric authentication program with First Tech Federal Credit Union based in California, which would focus on facial, voice and fingerprint recognition to authorize customer purchases.