Mastercard launches ‘pay by selfie’

By Christian Ramirez

Ever been a victim to credit card fraud? That’s in the past with one credit card’s new “selfie” authentication.

MasterCard has confirmed it will now begin using facial recognition “selfies” as an alternative to digit codes throughout Europe. The security feature is being introduced due to the alarming rate of illicit card use for online payments.

How does it work? Simple. Identity is established via an app installed on a smartphone linked to the card owner’s account. When an online payment is being processed, it will ask for verification. The user can then choose between facial recognition or a fingerprint scan.

While customers may have concerns about their photos being saved on a server, Mastercard seeks to reassure them about their privacy and safety. CNN Money reports that an algorithm will be created after extracting crucial points in the photo. Meaning that if hackers were to access that data, it would be impossible to recreate your image.

After trials, 83 per cent of users reported the process was more secure than passwords. Catherine Murchie, Senior Vice President of US Processing, Network and Enterprise Security Solutions for MasterCard said she feels “excited to be on the cutting edge of exploring biometrics”.

The financial services company will produce the technology to the UK, US, Canada, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark before it hits Australia’s shores.

Front page images of festival faces by Strollerdos/CC/flickr

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