A few years ago, we probably would have thought it was nothing short of magical that we could do things like date online, or order dinner on our phones, or uh, have phones with touch screens! My, my, my how far we've come: today, MasterCard is going to be enabling a service that allows you to verify online payments with selfies, making online payments faster and more secure.
While high tech means of verifying identity are not exactly new (fingerprint access has been a thing long before today's smart phones), we're certainly finding new and easier ways to conduct commerce with ease... and potentially, a lot more safety. We have to remember that not so long ago, we had to keep track of everything we spent by hand in a checkbook, because digital access to just our transactions was unheard of — forget apps like Mint that evaluate what we spend and create spreadsheets with percentages!
But beyond the personal finance factor, the selfie verification also addresses a larger issue, which is how increasingly common (and easy) it is to hack someone's account and steal their funds. To use this authentication, users will have to download a special MasterCard app on their smartphones, and then snap a pic. The same as many banking apps snap a pic of a check you want to mobile deposit, this app will take your face, instead! You will have to pose for a new photo each time, though, as one previously saved on the phone will not cut it (anybody can save someone's selfies to their phone).
In addition to facial recognition, MasterCard will be exploring ways to use customer's heartbeats, irises, and even voice recognition for payments. And it seems they are not the only ones exploring new ways of making safe and secure mobile banking a reality — and according to CNN, banking organization HBSC is likely to follow suit. Over the next few months, MasterCard will roll out the new security options for customers in the U.S., Canada, U.K., and throughout Europe. Better start practicing your best Kim K... selfies are more than just for Instagram these days!
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