MasterCard Turns to Selfies as Next Wave in Online Security

Jim Liebelt | Senior Editor of Publications for HomeWord | Tuesday, July 07, 2015

MasterCard Turns to Selfies as Next Wave in Online Security

*The following is excerpted from an online article from CNN Money.

This fall, MasterCard will start experimenting with a new program: approving online purchases with a facial scan.

At checkout, you'll be asked to hold up your phone and snap a photo. MasterCard's thinking? It's easier than remembering a password.

"The new generation, which is into selfies ... I think they'll find it cool. They'll embrace it," said Ajay Bhalla, who's in charge of coming up with innovative solutions for MasterCard's security challenges.

This is MasterCard's way of cutting down fraud.

MasterCard (MA) will launch a small pilot program that uses fingerprints -- but also facial scans. It'll be a limited experiment involving 500 customers. But, once it works out all the kinks, MasterCard plans to launch it publicly sometime after that.

MasterCard said a pop-up will ask for your authorization after you pay for something (the company did not demonstrate a working version to CNNMoney).

If you choose fingerprint, all it takes is a touch. If you go with facial recognition, you stare at the phone -- blink once -- and you're done. MasterCard's security researchers decided blinking is the best way to prevent a thief from just holding up a picture of you and fooling the system.

MasterCard said it doesn't actually get a picture of your finger or face. All fingerprint scans will create a code that stays on the device. The facial recognition scan will map out your face, convert it to 1s and 0s and transmit that over the Internet to MasterCard.

Source: CNN Money