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A Picture Is Worth 1000 DollarsThe “future” of the 21st century is not quite what many expected it to be. Rather than bases on the moon, people going to school with jetpacks and dinner being served in a pill, it’s all about social media, “hover boards” that are now banned in the USA, and the ever growing obsession with people using camera phones to take pictures of themselves, or “selfies.”

But this year, MasterCard is trying something a bit different. They are taking the new generation’s obsession with self-image capture, and they are turning it into a form ID verification for credit card payments. That’s right, MasterCard is experimenting with the idea that if you want to “charge it,” all you need to do is take a selfie. And they’re making it available in the USA, UK and Canada with an app that needs to be downloaded to your phone.

The Real You

Of course, the first thing that will pop into people’s minds are the possibilities of an exploit. If all you need to do to use a credit card is take a selfie, then couldn’t you just use a photo and hold that up to the camera in order to fool it? MasterCard has thought of that too, which is why this selfie actually includes video selfie component. At the urging of the app, you will be required to blink so as to ensure that a live person is in front of the lens and not just a static image.

One reason that MasterCard is toying with this biometric form of authentication is because passwords are, for some, just too difficult. Passwords are forgotten, or they’re too easy in order to be remembered, or even written down somewhere so as not to be forgotten. With a selfie, you’ll never need a password again, just your face, your payment is good to go.

Posted in Credit Cards on May 17, 2016