If someone tells you that your selfies are pretty useless and pointless, you can now whip out your smartphone, show them your MasterCard app and then buy them a cup of coffee with your card, and then take a selfie at the same time. That’s because the financial services corporation has started rolling out their “selfie pay” service where you get to pay for your card purchases either by fingerprint or by verifying it is indeed you through a selfie.
Okay, technically, you only take a selfie once to set it all up and then use facial recognition to verify it is you. You don’t actually take selfies every time you buy something (unless you want to). Once you’ve downloaded the MasterCard app on your smartphone, you will take a picture of yourself (okay fine, a selfie) and the app will digitally map out your face. Once you make an online purchase the next time, instead of typing out a password, you can just use your face to verify your identity.
The app will also ask you to blink to confirm your transaction in case someone had the bright idea to print your picture in order to fool the app into thinking it is you. For now, this is limited only to online transactions and there is no news yet if they will be expanding it to brick and mortar store purchases as well. As it is, MasterCard says this has “dramatically” improved the speed of online transactions.
This is now rolling out to several European countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK. They also conducted beta testing in the US, Canada, and the Netherlands. They are targeting a global rollout starting next year.