Payment company MasterCard has announced plans to end the use of passwords in favor of selfies.

The new system will be launched as part of a raft of new mobile technologies that let customers authenticate online purchases using fingerprints and selfies.

MasterCard logo

MasterCard will now use selfie authentication system

Over the next few months the new system will be launched by large financial institutions in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and some European nations. Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise security solutions at MasterCard (MA), said that the technology will become commonplace around the world within five years.

Bhalla said that the new scans are safer than passwords because of people’s insistence on using codes which are easy to guess. MasterCard customers who want to try out the new authentication methods will need to download a new app, and then take a selfie each time they make a purchase online.

The app will then scan their face or fingerprint to ensure that no one is making a purchase apart from the customer themselves. Users will have to blink when they take a photo to prove that it is a newly-taken selfie and not one from the photo gallery.

Financial companies exploring alternative authentication methods

Alongside the selfie recognition the fingerprint authentication will be compatible with the latest smartphones such as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s.

MasterCard is also reportedly working on other authentication methods such as heartbeat monitoring. Other options include iris scans and voice recognition.

Other financial companies are also exploring ways of phasing out typed passwords. Millions of HSBC account holders will soon be able to access their money using their voice and their fingerprints.

Telephone banking customers will be able to register their voice with the bank instead of using a password. HSBC will use voice biometrics technology to analyze your voice and recognize it when you call back. They say that it will even work if you have a cold or a sore throat.

Those with the latest iPhone smartphones can now use the fingerprint scanner to access their accounts from their mobile. The days of having to remember complicated passwords, or leaving your accounts vulnerable by using a generic one, may soon be over.