What if your selfie could pay your bills?

MasterCard wants to use your selfie to process payments on your smartphone. It is a very bold and innovative move that could revolutionize the way payments are made throughout the world. It wants to create an app that would allow you to do so.

the selfie stick with President Obama

[Courtesy: businessinsider.com]

MasterCard Incorporation is a multinational company and one of the biggest credit card providers in the world. It operates in over 200 countries worldwide. Over one in every four credit card transactions in the world are made using the MasterCard.

The app is still under development and it basically uses facial recognition to verify your identity when making payments. One immediate concern is what happens when someone uses a picture of you in order to fool the app. MasterCard’s solution to this is very simple. In order to activate the payment, you look at your phone and blink once. The blink will ensure that you’re real and not actually posed on a photo.

Ajay Bhalla, who is in charge of innovative solutions to MasterCard’s security issues, believes the selfie payment will be successful. He said, “The new generation, which is into selfies … I think they’ll find it cool. They’ll embrace it.”

selfie with three girls

With the selfie payment, sharing the bill will be very easy [Courtesy: theregister.co.uk]

Nowadays, payments through smartphones are becoming increasingly common. Apple Pay, for example, enables you to make mobile payments with some of their devices such as the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Watch and many others. Google Wallet – developed by Google – allows users to make and receive payments by using their Gmail address alone. MasterCard is determined to not be left behind.

There are a number of concerns about MasterCard’s new initiative. How safe will it be? MasterCard claims that its new service is very secure – not surprising. The app will not send your selfie to MasterCard. It takes your selfie and converts it into a code which is then sent to MasterCard to verify the payment.

Not everyone is happy with MasterCard transmitting the data. Robert M. Lee, the co-founder of Dragos Security, said, “I understand why they’d want that data, but no, I do not like it. From a privacy aspect it’s awful — but from a business perspective, I don’t understand why they’d accept that risk.”

Since data is to be transmitted in the form of a code, it would be vulnerable. How this issue will be tackled by MasterCard is yet to be known. They only claim it would be secure. In contrast, Apple uses your fingerprint to process payment. This means that everything is performed in the device and no data is transmitted to Apple servers, which is much safer.

MasterCard is also exploring other options of payment verification. They include voice recognition and heartbeat monitoring. These are very interesting prospects and we await to see how they turn out. Would they be able to pull off the selfie payment? Perhaps.

Source: CNET

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