MasterCard Mobile App To Facilitate Payments Via Selfies
It may sound crazy, but it is actually already in the works. MasterCard is currently developing a mobile that will let users pay for products or services with a selfie.
The credit card company is indeed working on a mobile app that makes extensive use of facial recognition software for the purpose of verifying the identity of users when facilitating payments. Basically, users download the app onto their mobile device, and then be able to pay for stuff by simply pointing their mobile device’s camera to their face, and then blinking once.
Wait -- blinking? What does eye movement have to do MasterCard payments? It turns out that it is actually a very crucial step. By blinking at their mobile devices, users are essentially just letting the app know that the face it is scanning is really the user’s face, and not, say, a picture, a dummy, etc. Of course, for good measure, MasterCard’s mobile app also can scan the user’s fingerprints.
Anybody who is financially flexible enough to afford getting a credit card is no doubt familiar with MasterCard and how it works. Not only is it one of the largest providers of credit cards and debit cards in the United States, it also operates in over 200 countries around the world. And according to the company, a quarter of all credit card transactions happening involve the use of a MasterCard. By any measure, MasterCard is already a known brand name when it comes to credit cards.
And now, the company is trying to explore ways in which credit card payments can be married with mobile technology. Of course, MasterCard is far from being alone. Apple and Google are only two examples of today’s tech giants that have either already introduced, or just about to, their own brands of mobile payment systems. Indeed, Apple already has Apple Pay, while Google will be releasing its upcoming Android Pay.
MasterCard is now trying to join that club. But there may be concerns with the technology being used. In verifying the identity of the paying user, the mobile app converts the image of the (blinking) face or the scanned fingerprint into code, and then transmits it to MasterCard. The company is assuring that the process is totally safe, but whenever data is being transmitted, there will always be some vulnerabilities. This not like Apple Pay, after all, wherein everything -- the fingerprint scanning, the verification -- happens completely in the mobile device, and no data is ever transmitted elsewhere.
MasterCard’s system, even on paper, is not perfect by any means, but it is still a nifty idea. At least, it is a lot more cool and more fun than just verifying one’s identity via passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs). So pretty soon, when you feel like paying for something you just bought, you can just selfie away.