One of the world’s largest payments companies has announced it will start accepting selfies and fingerprints for identity verification. The news was unveiled during the Mobile World Congress tech show in Spain.
The launch follows the recent biometrics payments pilot carried out by Mastercard and International Card Services (ICS) in the Netherlands. The results showed that around 75% of users believe the technology will minimize the risk of fraud. Nine of 10 participants noted that they would like to pay using biometric data instead of a password.
“The Dutch consumer is very progressive in embracing new technologies. Our country is the international leader in easy, safe and efficient payments. We are now examining the possibilities to integrate our technology in the banking and tech giants’ apps to make payment using a selfie or fingerprint even easier,” said Arjan Bol, Country Manager MasterCard Netherlands.
Mastercard is going to launch the feature in the UK, the US, Canada and some European countries within the next few months.
When it comes to security, Mastercard is sure it will be able to detect and prevent any suspicious activity. Moreover, neither fingerprints nor scans data could be stolen by hackers due to the high safety of the system.
To use the app, you have to upload it on your iPhone and provide credit card data. Then you have to make a selfie or scan a fingerprint that will be used as an alternative to a password. If you’ve chosen to make a photo, you have to blink into the camera to prove the picture is legitimate.
The biometric fingerprint ID reached widespread adoption after the launch of the iPhone 5s in 2013. Nowadays, the technology is becoming more popular among payments providers.
In addition to traditional passwords, Mastercard is also working on the development of iris, voice and heartbeat authentication systems. But it is not the only company that is working on new identity verification instruments.
In 2014, Amazon enabled its users to sign into their accounts using an iPhone Touch ID. Instead of entering a password, the feature allowed users to log in using a fingerprint.
Last year, the China-based online retailer Alibaba presented its own e-payment technology that lets people use their selfie as an electronic signature.
The similar technology is also offered by Android and Windows 10 operating systems, which enable its customers to unlock their devices with a selfie.
In the meantime, one of Mastercard’s key competitors, Visa, has informed it plans to launch its Visa Checkout services in six additional countries, including the UK, Spain, France, Ireland, Poland and India.
Unlike Mastercard, the Visa app still uses a password authentication system, but its global use is now showing steady growth. The service lets customers buy goods online using a tablet, mobile phone or computer.