MasterCard Rolling Out Payment Verification Technology That Uses Facial Recognition, Fingerprint Scans

With consumers’ shopping habits continually evolving – making more purchases online through smartphones and tablets – more retailers have revamped the way in which they allow such transactions to be made (“Buy” buttons, anyone?). So it should come as no surprise then that the businesses handling such transactions – your credit card company and bank – would also seek to evolve their methods to make payment verification simple and secure. That’s apparently the idea behind MasterCard Identity Check. 

MasterCard announced today that it would begin the rollout of a suite of technology solutions aimed at proving a customer’s identity quickly and securely while shopping with mobile devices.

Instead of memorizing a password – or spending 10 minutes to reset a forgotten password – MasterCard Identity Check uses biometrics – facial and fingerprint scans – and one-time use texted passwords in order to complete transactions.

MasterCard Identity Check – first rumored to be in the works back in July – enables customers to more quickly complete online shopping transactions by simply scanning their finger or blinking into a camera.

“Today, people shop on all sorts of devices, and they expect technology to simplify and secure the transaction,” Ajay Bhalla, president of Enterprise Security Solutions, MasterCard, said in a statement. “This is exactly what Identity Check delivers.”

The company says the system is a response to the changing online shopping environment. While customers once relied on passwords, they’ve now shifted reliance to technology and personal identification such as fingerprints and facial scans.

The program – also referred to as “Selfie Pay” – was first piloted in conjunction with First Tech Federal Credit Union. MasterCard says that U.S.-based retailer will be able to start using the verification technology starting in 2016, while the rest of the world will have access to the program starting in 2017.

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