Europeans online shoppers can now pay with selfies

Mastercard is moving online shoppers further away from passwords and pins and closer to biometric technology as it rolls out its Identity Check mobile app across 12 European countries today.

The smartphone app will allow participants to scan fingerprints or snap selfies to validate their identities; and when verified, return to the merchant site to complete the online purchase.


How does it work?

Customers will have to download the app and set up how they would like to authorise payments, via fingerprint or facial recognition. When they go online and visit a retailer website, a Mastercard notification will come up reminding them to authenticate their payment using the set up method.

The system eliminates the possibility of a user using a photograph by requiring them to blink.

The initiative was tested earlier this year in Canada and the US and Mastercard says the data has been very encouraging. Ninety-two percent of users said the app was more convenient than passwords, while 83% consider it to be safer and more secure than passwords.

“We are relentlessly focused on making the online payment experience near frictionless, without making any compromises on safety and security,” he added. “This is a significant milestone in the evolution of payments,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise risk and security at Mastercard.


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