What do you get when you combine one of the most popular habits of the smartphone era — taking ‘selfies’ — with one of the biggest challenges of the digital age — preventing I.D. theft or credit card fraud?
You get what MasterCard is planning to unveil over the next few months: ‘Selfie Pay’. Although that’s not quite the formal name.
MasterCard says it will roll out an application for cardholders to use a picture of their face (selfie), or their fingerprint, to verify their identity when making mobile online purchases. The payment processing giant confirmed the decision to introduce biometric screenings for purchases this week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
MasterCard said that it successfully pilot-tested the feature last fall. The app update will become available through big banks in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and some European countries later this year.
‘Selfie Pay” amounts to an app that scans biometric data from the photo and fingerprint every time you purchase something online.
Reported the app can’t be fooled easily. It takes into account physical depth and requires the user to blink each time, a factor that prevents previously taken photo or video from being used by hackers.
MasterCard is also reportedly looking at a system that monitors heartbeat or scans the iris of your eye as a means of identity verification.
MasterCard’s new system fuel higher online sales because passwords would be replaced with an easier-to-use solution. According to a survey by MasterCard, 53 percent of shoppers forget passwords at least once a week, spending more than 10 minutes to reset their accounts. And that leads a third of shoppers to abandon purchases.