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Facial recognition payment system launched by MasterCard

06 October 2016 - 09:06 by Simon Crisp

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MasterCard users who want to verify a transaction they are trying to make when carrying out safe shopping online can now confirm their identity by snapping a selfie during the checkout process, according to the Evening Standard.

Known as Identity Check Mobile, this service was teased earlier this year and underwent trials in North America, before being launched in the UK and Europe this week, in conjunction with software giant, Microsoft.

As well as accepting selfies as a form of identification, it also works with fingerprint scanning smartphones, although these are not as common as those with front-facing cameras.

The idea is that rather than relying on an easily guessable password, customers will be able to ensure that they can enjoy safe shopping online by using their own face to approve a payment.

MasterCard spokesperson, Ajay Bhalla, said that this marked a turning point in terms of online security, equating it to the arrival of contactless payments and the rise of m-commerce as a whole.

Users will need to install the Identity Check Mobile app on their device. It will then request that a photo be taken when they attempt to shop online, with the camera defeating tricksters attempting to get around this measure by requiring that the subject blink before the snap is captured.

Nine in 10 people who were involved in the trial of the service earlier this year said that they would rather use this selfie-based approach to security than traditional password-protected solutions. And while just 11 nations are now covered by the app, the payment card firm is planning to roll it out across the world over the coming year.

Since a surprising number of people use the same, weak password for all of their accounts, eliminating them from the security process has been a priority for some time.