You Can Soon Authorize Your Purchase With A MasterCard Selfie

You Can Soon Authorize Your Purchase With A MasterCard Selfie
Selfie Naud / Flickr CC BY-ND
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Yes, in today’s modern world dominated by countless mobile apps and social media, it only makes sense that MasterCard will soon be integrating a selfie into their verification process for purchases made with a MasterCard, eWEEK reports. The idea comes as the customers all over the world make more and more purchases online or over the phone with their credit card.


The industry basically refers to this as a “card not present” transaction. This, they believe, is when a selfie would be handy in serving as a facial recognition to authenticate the MasterCard customer.

As MasterCard Vice President and Business Leader Jane Khodos explained to eWEEK, “In the physical world, we have EMV to make our purchases more secure. When it comes to online purchases, most of us can agree that passwords are a real problem.”

Moreover, she added, “People forget them often and it’s a pain to go through the retrieval process. Consumers that dislike passwords have a choice to secure their online payment transactions with their face and/or fingerprint, or continue to use passwords. MasterCard Identity Check is another layer of security to guard against online fraud.”

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Forbes has revealed that there at least five dangers associated with shopping online. Among them are fake online reviews, incomplete cost disclosure, counterfeit products, order’s failure to arrive and most alarmingly, identity theft. And it seems, MasterCard has realized that a good (and fun) way to actively combat identity theft would be through a selfie.

The act of taking a selfie has quickly become a daily habit. As Tech Infographics has learned last year, there are over one million selfies taken every single day in the U.S. Meanwhile, 14% of the said selfies are digitally enhanced while 36% of people who regularly take selfies admitted to altering their image. Moreover, 48% have said that share their selfies on Facebook while 27% of selfie regulars share them on WhatsApp and via text.

MasterCard believes selfies can be put to good use. In fact, MasterCard’s Ajay Bhalla has told CNN Money, “The new generation, which is into selfies… I think they’ll find it cool. They’ll embrace it.” He is actually in charge of finding unique solutions to the company’s security challenges.

To get things started, MasterCard has partnered with top tech companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and BlackBerry. The company plans to make the selfie authentication option available via the MasterCard phone app. When you are about to pay for something, it will give you the choice between authorizing the purchase with a fingerprint and facial recognition.

Should the customer choose facial recognition, the app feature will require you to stare at the phone and blink once to authorize your purchase. This is because MasterCard’s security research has determined that blinking is the best way to prevent a thief using a photo of you to make a fraudulent transaction.
MasterCard is set to launch a pilot program to test security authentication via fingerprints and selfie scans. For the moment, the said program will only involve 500 customers.