MasterCard Launching Selfie, Fingerprint Online Payments

February 23, 2016 3:14 pm Last Updated: February 23, 2016 3:24 pm

Not a big fan of passwords? Hope is on its way. MasterCard announced that is rolling out a new verification system for online purchases that allows users to take a selfie or do fingerprint scan to verify their identity.

The technology, which has been tested in the U.S. and The Netherlands for some time, will be rolled out by a number of major banks in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and several other European countries in the coming months.

By default, users will be asked to take a selfie to prove their identity, but can also choose to use a fingerprint instead. The selfie is not a traditional selfie however, it requires users to look in the camera and blink their eyes.

The problem with online payments has always been that the card doesn’t need to be present.
— Windsor Holden, Juniper Research

According to Mastercard the technology will make it faster and easier for users to make their online payments.

“Passwords are a pain,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of Enterprise Security Solutions at MasterCard, in a statement.

New technology introduced by MasterCard will make it possible for customers to make online payments using a selfie or a fingerprint. (Courtesy of MasterCard)
New technology introduced by MasterCard will make it possible for customers to make online payments using a selfie or a fingerprint. (Courtesy of MasterCard)

“They’re easy to forget, they waste our time and they’re not very safe. Biometrics are making online transactions as secure and simple as purchases in person.”

Critics however say that it is unclear how easy or difficult it will be to fake the system.

Creditcard companies have been struggling for years to fight fraud.

According to Windsor Holden of the tech consultancy Juniper Research the selfie technology could prove successful in their effort to curb identity fraud.

“The problem with online payments has always been that the card doesn’t need to be present, hence the credit card companies have charged more for the transactions to cover the costs of fraud,” Holden told the BBC.