MasterCard is moving a pilot program into the next stage and has decided to allow users to authenticate and authorize payments using biometrics instead of a classic PIN.
Thanks to facial recognition technology, companies can use selfies to verify a consumer’s identity like they would using a fingerprint – both are forms of biometrics. In the Netherlands, MasterCard conducted a pilot program where participants used selfies and fingerprints to validate their identities without pin codes, pass, or confirmation codes. After the trial period ended, 77% of participants wanted to continue using biometrics, which Arjun Bol, the country manager for MasterCard Netherlands said characterized the country as “the international leader in easy, safe, and efficient payments.”
According to The Cut, the new system will ask that consumers blink as they take their selfie, to provide “proof of life,” so MasterCard can be sure you’re really you, and an identity thief is not submitting your Facebook profile picture. While selfies may be a fun way to pay, the ultimate goal is preventing identity theft, which affected 17.6 million people in the U.S. in 2014. Sounds like a win-win situation to us.