MasterCard Wants To Let You Purchase Items By Taking Selfies

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MasterCard is testing a smartphone app that uses facial recognition to verify online purchases by Selfies photos.

Users in the trial can hold their phone up as though taking a selfie to approve transactions.

The card company is testing the new way to pay which involves the customer being asked to look at the screen and blink to confirm their identity and authenticate a payment.

Five hundred people are taking part in the trial which MasterCard chief product security officer “Ajay Bhalla” says is targeted at youth.

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One security expert Said that  facial recognition should be complemented with “extra layers of security”.

“Google tried facial recognition on Android phones and there were a lot of problems in the early days”, said Ken Munro, security researcher at Pen Test Partners.



Mastercard is exploring facial recognition as an alternative to SecureCode, its security software that asks online shoppers for a password to make purchases.

The company said the technology was used in three billion transactions last year.

In March, Chinese shopping brand Alibaba demonstrated a facial recognition app, but hasn’t brought it to market yet.


MasterCard say that the blinking system ensures that the app is secure.

PIN numbers can easily be changed if a customer notices they have become a victim a victim of fraud which should provide and instant remedy.

They Said too that photos won’t be sent directly to the company in case people are sensitive about privacy. Instead, it will be converted into a different format that will be used to authenticate the payment.

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