Selfie Pay Is Here To Stay

selfie pay

Selfie Pay Is Here To Stay

Selfie Pay? Seriously?

The face of online payment verification has been upgraded…no pun intended. In February, MasterCard launched “selfie pay” as an alternative to their current security measures including PIN codes, passwords or other verification codes when completing purchases.

Last year, First Tech Federal Credit Union in California tested selfie pay with a certain group of participants with quite a bit of success. Now, the MasterCard Identity Check mobile app allows all cardholders to use facial recognition or fingerprinting to verify payments.

Use of the app is simple. Once downloaded to their mobile device, cardholders make an online or mobile purchase and will be prompted for further identity verification if necessary. The cardholder can then choose between using selfie pay or by using fingerprint.

86% of participants in the trial found that the system was easier than password based authentications, as passwords are easily forgotten. 9 out of 10 participants said that they could see themselves using this more frequently than the other previously required methods of authentication.

MasterCard has announced that selfie pay will be coming to the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and other European countries later on this year. Visa is not far behind MasterCard in exploring selfie pay and it’s own biometric payment options.

What Are The Critics Saying About Selfie Pay?

New technology always has it’s skeptics. Biometric security payment authorization is no stranger to this, as it is the new frontier for not only mobile payments, but in many other sectors of technology as well. Some security experts say that it is not as safe as it’s backers claim. Fingerprint hacking has been a new challenge for identity thieves, but it has been done and will continue to occur.

Even though biometric pass codes all start as an image which is where they can be duplicated with Photoshop or printers, these pass codes are usually converted and stored as binary; a series of zeroes and 1s. These numbers are often encrypted and usually impossible to reverse engineer.

Regardless of the security debate, MasterCard has given “selfie pay” it’s blessing and has already launched the Identity Check application. Over time, cardholders will certainly put the technology through it’s paces and we’re very excited to see how it effects the industry.