selfie identity verificationGet ready folks; the future is almost upon us! MasterCard has announced that customers in the United States, Canada and certain areas of Europe will pay for online purchases by either their fingerprint or using facial recognition via MasterCard’s Identity Check (more affectionately known as ‘selfie pay’) this summer.

But before its wide release this summer, MasterCard is working with BMO Financial Group on a test where BMO’s staff will make payments with their corporate accounts as part of a new trial MasterCard is running. This partnership will test the mobile app where passwords are replaced with biometric checks — either a fingerprint or facial recognition. MasterCard hopes this will be the first step in relieving consumers from the burden of having to remember passwords.

“Biometrics is important in bringing to life the next generation of identity authentication. So far, consumer feedback and user experience has been very positive. We look forward to our official launch this summer,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of Enterprise Security Solutions at MasterCard.

This app has been going through testing in different parts of the world since it was first announced in 2015. People in the test groups across the globe have been giving the app rave reviews. A test of 750 ICS bank cardholders in the Netherlands drew strong, supportive numbers for this new way to pay, including:

  • 90 percent of cardholders want biometric identification system to replace passwords.
  • 75 percent of users are convinced that biometric payments will decrease fraud.
  • 83 percent believe the app is more secure than passwords.

So how does it work? First, customers will have to download a special MasterCard mobile app that allows them to take a photo of themselves every time they make a purchase online. The app then scans their face (or fingerprint) to prove that they are the one making the purchase.

MasterCard knows that hackers are a crafty bunch, so they’ve added a security measure — blinking— to make sure it’s a selfie and not a photo.

Want to see the MasterCard’s Identity Check mobile app in action? Click here to see the future now.

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