MasterCard tests 'pay by selfie' payment method

MasterCard is trying out a smartphone app that allows customers to verify purchases online by taking a selfie instead of keying in a password, the BBC reported.
MasterCard is trying out a smartphone app that allows customers to verify purchases online by taking a selfie instead of keying in a password, the BBC reported.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Soon, all it may take is a photo of your face to verify online purchases.

MasterCard is trying out a smartphone app that allows customers to verify purchases online by taking a selfie instead of keying in a password, the BBC reported.

The credit card company's security expert Ajay Bhalla told CNN that the selfie way of shopping online would be seen as cool to the new generation.

Currently, customers use SecureCode for each online transaction, which requires a password, as the final step during online checkout to prevent hackers from stealing credit card numbers.

The SecureCode method of verification was used in three billion transactions last year, the company told CNN.

The trial will start with 500 customers in the United States this year and the company plans to launch it once bugs are fixed.

The firm has partnered with all major smartphone markers including Apple and Samsung. According to reports, it is said to be finalising deals with two banks but it declined to reveal which ones will get to try it first.

MasterCard is also exploring the use of voice recognition and fingerprint scans to secure online payment.

How it works:

- Download the MasterCard app on the phone.

- A pop-up window will appear each time shoppers make payment online.

- If they prefer to use the selfie method, stare at the phone and blink once to pay. The firm's security experts said blinking prevents someone from just holding up a printed photograph and fooling the system.

kchitra@sph.com.sg