MasterCard facial recognition app

Mobile payments are set to become a huge industry, with Apple, Google, Samsung and others all vying to replace your traditional credit card. MasterCard is also looking to hop on the trend but is taking a less conventional approach.,Tthe company wants you to snap a selfie to make a payment.

The credit and debit card company will soon begin testing a mobile app that uses facial recognition or a fingerprint to confirm a payment. The software relies on the users phone camera in order to scan their face or capture a fingerprint, which is used to confirm the payer’s identity.

MasterCard is planning to use the new software to help cut down on fraud from stolen passwords. The company sees its new security solution as a successor to its “SecureCode” online password system.

“Passwords are a pain … The new generation, which is into selfies … I think they’ll find it cool. They’ll embrace it” – Ajay Bhalla, MasterCard

However, this facial recognition idea sounds like it might be vulnerable to trickery, so Mastercard has made it so that the system requires the user to blink, in order to confirm that the person is real and not just a picture.

The application will also be able to use a smartphone camera to identify a customer’s fingerprint. Again there are legitimate concerns about how secure this type of technology would be, especiallywhen  compared with hardware based fingerprint scanning technologies. MasterCard says that the fingerprint data will remain encoded on the user’s device, but facial data will be transmitted over the internet to MasterCard for verification. The company is also said to be experimenting with voice recognition technology for secure payments.

Initially, Mastercard will be running a limited experiment involving 500 customers. Once testing is complete and any issues are worked out, MasterCard plans to launch its software publicly sometime after that.

Would you trust your bank account to MasterCard’s selfie security system?