MasterCard Unveils New ‘Selfie’ Security Check

MasterCard Unveils New ‘Selfie’ Security Check

MasterCard is bringing “selfie pay” security checks to more than a dozen countries. Last year, the company was trailing in the technology - which uses facial recognition to authenticate users’ identity - but now it says they have firm plans to roll out the feature after those who have tested the product have given positive reviews.

To use selfie pay, customers will have to download MasterCard’s app to their phone or tablet. After entering credit card information as normal during an online payment, they’ll hold their device up to their face to take a quick picture.

In order to prove authenticity, users will be prompted to blink. This will prevent unauthorized users from holding up a photograph to the camera. MasterCard says they also have other algorithms in place to insure someone isn’t trying to fool the system by using a video.

The new facial recognition software will only be prompted in certain contexts, when further authentication is needed and that a lot of its security is based on knowing whether a transaction seems normal or not.

The company is also looking into security measures that go beyond facial recognition and fingerprint sensors. One thing they have been looking into is heartbeat recognition. They would use a sensor to read a person’s electrocardiogram - the unique signal produced by a user’s heart.

MasterCard believes their heartbeat authentication system will not be hitting your phone any time soon, simply because there’s no infrastructure currently available to support it. The facial recognition can roll out much sooner by comparison.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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