Tired of trying to remember all of your passwords? MasterCard has a solution: take a selfie instead.
The company announced it’s launching a new mobile feature that will allow customers to verify online payments by taking a selfie or scanning their fingerprint. The technology will be rolled out by big banks in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and some European countries over the next few months.
How selfie pay works
In order to use the selfie pay feature, users will need to download the MasterCard app. The app will then prompt customers to take a photo — or scan their fingerprint — each time they make an online purchase from their device. In order to verify the authenticity of the selfie, users must blink when taking the photo — to prove they aren’t taking a photo of a photo. MasterCard says its algorithms will also be able to tell if someone tries to cheat the system by taking a selfie of a video.
The idea behind the new feature involves two key areas of online banking security: creating foolproof passwords and extra verification methods. People are reminded all the time that they shouldn’t make their passwords ‘12345’ or ‘password,’ but so many people still do it every day. Even if you do have more complex passwords, with just a little bit of personal information, hackers can often gain access to your accounts anyway.
Selfies and fingerprints are safer than passwords
And that’s exactly why MasterCard is implementing this new verification method.
Hackers may be able to guess a typed password, but they can’t take a real-time photo of your face or scan your fingerprint in real time — at least not without you knowing about it.
Any smartphone capable of taking a selfie will be able to use the selfie pay method. However, in order to use the fingerprint scanning technology, users must have a more recent smartphone (the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S have this capability).
MasterCard says it’s working on even more methods of user authentication, including voice recognition, iris scans and even monitoring a customer’s heartbeat.