Technology

MasterCard Selfie App Verifies Online Payments

MasterCard is working on an app which uses a facial scan to confirm your identity when you are paying for goods online.

A facial scan allows users to authenticate their payment when using the MasterCard phone app. Those who download the app will be asked to hold up their smartphone so that it can see their face before they make a payment, according to The Times of India.

MasterCard Selfie App Verifies Online Payments

Selfie security comes to MasterCard

In order to authenticate a payment, users are required to hold up their smartphone and blink at it.

“The new generation, which is into selfies…I think they’ll find it cool. They’ll embrace it,” said Ajay Bhalla, security expert at MasterCard.

The financial services company currently offers users the chance to set up a “SecureCode,” which is essentially a password required to authenticate purchases online. The problem with passwords is that they are easily intercepted, stolen, or just plain forgotten by users.

According to a report by CNN Money, MasterCard is about to launch a 500-person pilot program which involves the use of fingerprints and facial scans to authenticate online purchases.

The company announced that partnerships are in place with every major smartphone manufacturer in order to enable this new method of authentication.

MasterCard working on new authentication methods

According to MasterCard, users will see a pop-up when they attempt to buy something online, and can choose between fingerprint or facial verification. Those who choose facial recognition will be required to stare at the camera on their phone and blink once.

Security experts at the company think that blinking is the best way to prevent fraud involving people showing photos of the card owner to a smartphone, and tricking the system.

As people are increasingly worried about privacy online, MasterCard has moved to confirm that they will not receive a picture of the user’s face. Neither will pictures be taken of a user’s fingerprint. Instead, fingerprint scans will produce a code which stays on the device.

The facial recognition software will also create a code which will be sent to MasterCard via the Internet. Another potential security feature is voice recognition, which may allow users to make purchases just by speaking to their phone.

MasterCard is also working on technology that will allow transactions to be authorized using a person’s heartbeat, in conjunction with Nymi, a Canadian technology company.