MasterCard testing face recognition ‘selfie’ app

  • PTI, Washington
  • Updated: Jul 06, 2015 02:45 IST

MasterCard is experimenting with a smartphone app that allows people to confirm their identity and authenticate online transactions via a facial scan.

Users will have to download the MasterCard phone app and at checkout they’ll have hold up their phone to stare and blink at it when they make payments online.

“The new generation, which is into selfies... I think they’ll find it cool. They’ll embrace it,” said Ajay Bhalla, security expert at the American financial services company MasterCard.

Users currently authorise online transactions with the “SecureCode,” that requires a password, which could possibly be forgotten, stolen, or intercepted.

MasterCard is launching a small pilot programme involving 500 people that uses fingerprints — but also facial scans to verify online transactions, CNN Money reported.

MasterCard said it has partnered with every smartphone maker to make this method of verification possible.

MasterCard said a pop-up will ask for authorisation after people buy something. They can choose fingerprint or facial recognition. Users who choose facial recognition have to stare at the phone and blink once.

MasterCard’s security researchers believe blinking is the best way to prevent a thief from just holding up a picture of a person and fooling the system.

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