MasterCard Selfie

MasterCard Introducing Selfie Authentication

February 22, 2016 - Written By Diego Macias

Mobile security is extremely important nowadays, particularly if users plan to use their smartphones for making payments. There are several mobile payment platforms and many offer fingerprint support to authenticate users. Now, credit card company MasterCard will allow users to identify themselves using this method as well as taking selfies as part of a trial software that was recently released. Apparently, 92% of their users would like to use either of these methods rather than entering passwords. Additionally, some passwords created by the users themselves might not be very secure and if they use them in multiple accounts, hackers might get access to a lot of information. Yet, there are some researchers that question if biometric methods can actually improve on security or if they can be hacked more easily.

The trial software is already available in the U.S. and the Netherlands, but this summer, the software will expand to additional markets including the UK, Canada, Belgium, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. It will be used to make online purchases although users will still need to provide some of their credit card details, so it can be downloaded for devices such as a PC, tablet or smartphone. The difference is that now, instead of typing a part of their passwords, they will get to choose between using their fingerprints or their faces to further identify themselves. If they choose the selfie method, they will be asked to blink at a certain moment to prevent being falsely identified by a still photo of them.

While some researchers have stated that data from fingerprints or a photo might be compromised, MasterCard insists that this data won’t be transmitted to be intercepted, stolen or used by anyone else, so they are confident of its security. The problem with online payments is that the card doesn’t need to be present, thus, they are more susceptible to fraud and companies have to charge more for each transaction, if the system is secure enough, then maybe companies wouldn’t have to make those extra charges. Making a facial scan identify a user is not something new, some operating systems like Android already used this feature to unlock some devices and software should ultimately get better to recognize faces, after all, biometric sensors are more commonly used each day.