Technology

MasterCard trials selfies to protect online shoppers

Ronelle Richards /

Source: MasterCard

MasterCard is trialling a system that uses people’s faces to protect against identify theft.

According to the Washington Post, the system, called MasterCard Identity Check or colloquially “selfie pay”, will use face recognition and fingerprint scans to tighten security for online shoppers.

Currently, MasterCard has a feature that lets customers set up passwords for online payments.

Following the same principle, “selfie pay” will use customers’ faces and fingerprints, which unlike passwords are not easily lost or forgotten.

After following the normal steps of filling out credit card information during an online purchase, customers will then receive a notification through an app on their smartphones that asks them to verify their identity.

Customers can complete the verification process through either a fingerprint scan or by taking a brief, selfie-like video.

Customers will also have to blink to prove it’s real person on the video and not simply an old photo used by fraudsters.

MasterCard says customers’ original selfies will be converted into a string of 0s and 1s and then destroyed. However, the the digitised version will be stored and matched to the blinking selfies to authenticate card holders.

MasterCard tested the feature with nearly 1000 customers in the US and the Netherlands last year.

 

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Ronelle Richards

Ronelle Richards is a former journalist at SmartCompany. She is currently studying a Masters of Journalism at The University of Melbourne and has previously worked as a journalist and photographer in rural newspapers.

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