MasterCard announced that it started testing facial recognition to replace the on-sale password verification system currently in place.
Essentially, MasterCard wants to make use of modern technology and mobile devices to replace the authentication password with a…selfie.
Verifying your identity will have never seemed more fun or easy MasterCard thinks. Instead of the currently used SecureCode verification mechanism that requires password authentication at the point of sale, MasterCard users could click one selfie and hold it up as the ultimate proof of identity.
Recent studies have concluded that passwords are an easily forgettable means of authentication and verification, prompting more problems than keeping them away. Use a too safe security question with a complex answer and chances are you won’t remember the answer. Use too easy passwords that can be statistically hacked into and control of the bank account may again fall out of the user’s hands.
Thus, MasterCard took to face recognition and biometrics to replace a system that has often prompted security problems such as identity theft, password hacking or data interceptions of any type.
The solution, according to MasterCard is to hold up an image of yourself at the checkout point that will check the biometrics and complete the transaction.
MasterCard executive Ajay Bhalla told CNN Money:
“We want to identify people for who they are, not what they remember. We have too many passwords to remember and this creates extra problems for consumers and businesses. The new generation, which is into selfies…I think they’ll find it cool. They’ll embrace this.”
This is how face recognition works for MasterCard. A user will upload a photo for biometric measurement which will be stored as a code string of 1 and 0s, avoiding reconstruction by ill-intended hackers.
Every time a new selfie is held up at check out point for completing a transaction, the system will once more convert the image into code and compare it to the stored one. If they match, the transaction is completed.
Fear that someone could sneak a picture of a different user just to complete transactions in their name has also been addressed. While the selfie is taken, MasterCard face recognition system also requires the user to blink once.
The shift from SecureCode to facial recognition addresses a potential resolve to fraud. Tech and payment companies alike have shown an increased interest in face recognition technology as the safest yet.
Currently, MasterCard is testing facial recognition authentication in a 500-people pilot program. Besides facial recognition, the company is also planning to use fingerprint recognition, giving user the opportunity to choose between the authentication methods.
MasterCard also announced that the efforts have brought about partnerships with major players in the smartphone arena, such as Samsung, Google, Apple, Microsoft or BlackBerry.
Image Source: psfk.com