Payment Mastercard Ecommerce

Mastercard tests ‘selfie’ passwords for online shoppers


By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

July 2, 2015 | 2 min read

Mastercard is to trial facial recognition passwords, partnering with Apple, Blackberry, Google, Microsoft and Samsung as well as two, as yet unnamed, banks.

It comes amid increasing use of fingerprint IDs – something Mastercard is also testing – which has been spearheaded by Apple.

Mastercard said the initial trails of facial recognition passwords will be limited to 500 customers. Depending on the results, a full rollout will follow shortly after.

"The new generation, which is into selfies ... I think they'll find it cool. They'll embrace it," Mastercard’s Ajay Bhalla told CNN.

Accessed via the Mastercard app, a pop-up asks for authorisation where you can choose fingerprint ID or facial recognition. If you select the latter, the user simply stares at the phone, blinks once, and then the transaction is completed.

The blink is crucial, says Mastercard, as that prevents thiefs from holding up a picture of you.

Meanwhile, experiments with voice recognition technology are also being conducted to allow shoppers to approve transactions by simply speaking to your phone.

Earlier this year Alibaba introduced 'Pay-By-Selfie' technology which is being tested by Ant Financial, an Alibaba affiliate that runs the Alipay payment service.

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