We live in selfie-crazed world and MasterCard has decided to make good use of that. The American multinational has recently announced it has a new payment method to experiment starting this fall: confirming online transactions with facial scanning.
Whenever you order something, the checkout will offer you the option of holding up your phone and snap a selfie that will confirm it’s you who makes the purchase. The idea behind this method is that taking a photo of yourself is much easier that having to remember a password.
Ajay Bhalla, the MasterMind that handles the company’s security challenges is quite positive about how the millennials will receive the feature, as they are the target demographic. Facial scanning is a tool in preventing and cutting down card fraud, according to Bhalla.
But before the new feature makes its way into your phone and in your pocket, MasterCard users have the option of setting up a “SecureCode,” which requires that all online transactions be confirmed with a password. This security feature is designed to stop credit-card-number stealing, and it has already been used during 3 billion transactions in 2014.
Unfortunately, passwords are subject to be intercepted, stolen or forgotten, so several banks are following Apple’s lead in finding alternative payment methods. Back in 2013, Apple has started a security revolution with its fingerprint scanner which drastically reduced card fraud.
More than that, Apple Pay has proved that customers are ready and willing to use biometrics while shopping in order to secure their transactions. That’s why MasterCard’s pilot program testing fingerprints and digital facial mapping is rather smart.
The initial experiment will involve only 500 customers, as the company is looking to get all the bugs out of the way before it releases the feature to the general public. After being this long in the business, MasterCard knows how the job gets done, so it signed partnerships with all the smartphone manufacturer’s on the market, including Apple, Samsung, BlackBerry, Google, and Microsoft.
When the feature gets released, all you have to do if you have a MasterCard is download the company’s phone app. Even though we have yet to see a working demonstration of the facial scanning, an official blog post explained that a pop-up will ask your preferred way of authorizing your payments.
For fingerprints, all you need it to lightly touch the screen; facial recognition is equally easy, as you only have to look at the phone and blink once for confirmation. Blinking is required so as thieves won’t be able to trick the system by using a picture of you.
There were plenty of concerns coming from cybernetic rights agencies about the data MasterCard collects for this feature, but there’s also plenty of faith that the company can rise to the task and protect is adequately.
Image Source: The Register