Could You Soon Be Making Purchases By Scanning Your Face? That’s The Plan At MasterCard

Who has time to memorize the special code or password when you could just scan your face to approve an online purchase? While using facial recognition as confirmation you’re, well, you, might seem a little far-fetched, it could be a reality this fall according to MasterCard.

The credit card company announced plans this week to start testing a new program that asks customers to snap a photo of themselves to approve purchases, CNN reports.

The pilot program, which begins with about 500 customers this fall, will use fingerprints or facial scans to confirm one’s identity and securely complete purchases.

To use the new security feature – when it’s available – MasterCard members must download the company’s app.

When completing a transaction, a pop-up will ask customers for authorization, either a fingerprint of a photo. If using the facial recognition option, people simply look into the phone’s camera and blink.

According to MasterCard, blinking was the best way to prevent a thief from simply holding up a photo of someone else to use a stolen credit card.

Instead of keeping a photo in its archives, the company says the system will map out one’s face and convert the points to create a code that stays on the device. The company says it won’t be able to reconstruct customers’ faces and that information collected by the app will remain secure.

To create the program, MasterCard partnered with smartphone makers including Apple, BlackBerry, Google, Microsoft and Samsung, CNN reports.

The company hasn’t finalized deals with banks just yet, so it’s unclear just who will get to test out the program when it’s up and running.

MasterCard says the initiative is the company’s latest attempt to cut down on fraud, while alleviating the need to remember complicated passwords.

Currently, the company offers customers extra security through a program called “SecureCode,” which aims to stop hackers from using ill-gotten credit cards online.

That program, which has been used about three billion times in the last year, requires a shopper to enter a specific password when shopping online.

The company says they are also working on other secure methods to approve transactions including voice recognition.

MasterCard will approve purchases by scanning your face [CNN]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.