Pay for Your Purchases with a Selfie

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by parag
Last Updated: March 8th, 2017
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KEYWORDS:#creditcards #mastercard #technology #selfie #App
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Enjoy taking selfies? Have your selfie stick handy the next time you shop online with your MasterCard. The credit card company is launching new technologies that will allow consumers to use fingerprints or selfies to authenticate online purchases. This makes it so only you can make purchases with your code. Hackers won’t be able to make purchases on your behalf because their fingerprint or selfie won’t match yours, since everyone is unique. MasterCard decided to do away with passwords after discovering that many consumers use codes that are easy to guess.  

Besides the United States, this technology is currently being rolled out in Canada, the United Kingdom and some countries in Europe. It is believed that within the next five years, consumers worldwide will be using selfies to safeguard their online purchases.


How Does It Work?

Selfie authentication requires you to download the MasterCard Identity Check app, which is available for Android and Apple. This app will ask you to take a photo with every purchase you make online. Your selfie or fingerprint will be scanned to make sure that you – not a friend, family member or hacker – are in fact making the purchase. 

You have to take a new selfie each time; you won’t be able to use an older photo. To verify that it’s legitimate, you’ll be asked to blink when the photo is taken. This means that anyone with a photo of you can’t use it to access your account. The purchase must be done by you and you only, in real time. 


HSBC Introduces Authentication Technology

Banks are also taking note. HSBC announced in February that voice and fingerprint authentication would soon be available for millions of account holders. Instead of using a password, customers would be able to register their voice with HSBC. When they call to utilize phone banking services, special voice technology will recognize the customers’ voices – even when they have a cold. Customers can also use their fingerprint to access money and other banking services via their iPhone.


Advantages of Biometric Authentication

The use of a person’s face, fingerprint or other body part as an alternative to a password is called biometric authentication. While this type of security may seem odd to some, it’s actually about time that we’re able to use our facial features and fingerprints –rather than password we can never remember – to validate purchases.

The use of biometric authentication will decrease fraud dramatically. That’s because we are each unique and nobody can replicate that. While hackers can use software to hack into your computer and access your password, they can’t actually become you. Being your unique self is the best password you can have.

Passwords are not secure enough to protect us. We’re told to use a difficult password that contains numbers, letters and special characters. We’re also told to never write it down. How is that possible? This isn’t realistic considering that the average person has 19 passwords. And if you’re like most workers, you have to change your password every 90 days or so. Just about every website you use requires a username and password. It becomes overload. Who can remember them all? 

The result? You forget all your passwords or use the same one for every site – and it make it easy enough so you can remember. If you make it too easy, hackers can guess them and access your account. That’s why common passwords such as “12345” and “password” don’t work. Biometric authentication offers security and convenience – two elements that we could all use in our busy lives.


Watch for More Authentication Tactics from MasterCard

MasterCard isn’t stopping at fingerprints and selfies. The company is exploring other ways in which consumers can authenticate purchases. Innovative tactics such as iris scans, heartbeat monitoring and voice recognition are being discussed. 

These new authentication measures may seem like something from a futuristic movie, but we no longer have to wait for this technology. It’s here now, in 2017. It may seem otherworldly and almost like a breach of privacy. But when a hacker accesses your account, that’s an even bigger breach of privacy. It’s called identity theft, and it can cause a lot of problems. Protecting your personal information with your eyes, face and fingerprints seems like a good option, doesn’t it?

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