MasterCard wants to replace passwords and PINs with selfies

By Shawn Knight
Feb 23, 2016
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  1. In the ongoing search for the successor to unsecure passwords and PINs, financial services giant MasterCard is taking a modern approach to authenticating transactions called MasterCard Identity Check.

    Last year, MasterCard completed a pilot program for a feature that allows users to authenticate online transactions using facial recognition. Dubbed by many as "Selfie Pay," the app maps the user's face and requires them to blink to eliminate fraud by using a still photograph. The company says its algorithms can also detect if someone is trying to fool it by using a video.

    Ajay Bhalla, MasterCard's president of enterprise security solutions, told The Verge that the facial recognition system won't be used to authenticate every transaction. Instead, it may be utilized if the context of a purchase seems abnormal such as, for example, if you're shipping an item to an unfamiliar address.

    It may seem silly to some but it could come in handy if your phone doesn't have a fingerprint scanner.

    Following the successful trials, MasterCard said it will be rolling out the technology to 14 countries over the summer including Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, the US, the UK, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Norwary, Switzerland, Denmark and Finland.

    Within five years, Bhalla believes the technology will be ubiquitous. It's unclear if that prophecy will indeed come to fruition but it's encouraging to see large players like MasterCard moving past the traditional password and PIN approach.

    Image courtesy Flickr

    Permalink to story.

  2. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,295   +663

    Genius! Now all I have to do is hold up a picture of some *****'s face to the ATM in order to clean him out! Those anti-spoofing measures will be effective for about 15 minutes. I foresee a lot of Russians wearing masks of FB users.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
    wastedkill and Wendig0 like this.
  3. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,599   +411

    *checks date*
    Nope, not April 1st, but this has to be a joke.
    learninmypc, Wendig0 and Reehahs like this.
  4. 3volv3d

    3volv3d TS Booster Posts: 121   +49

    Back in the day, 90's, criminals used laptops in bags, with scanning hardware to walk past shoppers, and take credit card info.

    Years later the genius card companies, deemed it a wise idea, to make NFC chip n pin cards, so you could pay faster. Although, if you think about it, its scanning your bread, your lettuce, and your 20 other items at the self serve checkouts that takes forever.

    So in their infinite wisdom, they took an idea, that criminals came up with, not them, and claimed it as their own. Which has fallen into the hands of the criminals once more, as they have now exploited the NFC chips, and take your money again by simply walking by.

    So, this, selfie idea, is the next phase in the, we are so far behind the criminals, we look stupid, lets shout out ideas and just go with anything at random.

    Good luck with that.
    Wendig0 likes this.
  5. RoosterFish2

    RoosterFish2 TS Enthusiast Posts: 37   +30

    "maps the user's face and requires them to blink to eliminate fraud by using a still photograph."

    Did you read the article or just skim it?
    Julian Clayton and dms96960 like this.
  6. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,617   +492

    As soon as the resolution of selfie cameras becomes high enough they'll likely move to a bio-metric retinal scanner. This is simply a stepping stone towards that, facial recognition suffers too many shortcomings, something as simple as growing a beard will render your face unrecognizable. However it could be combined with FLIR to create a near unbeatable system, but my money is still on the retina scanners when they do become the norm for all security measures.
  7. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,494   +668

    While it certainly isn't practical on the merchant level, I am surprised that retinal technology hasn't progressed to the stage of being useable at many (certainly not all) business places and all banks. Of course, there would have to be one master file of each retina photograph and that would be subject to hacking, but it would certainly be an improvement over the P/W and PIN technology currently being relied
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,145   +597


    Mastercard is operating on the assumption that everyone a) has a cellphone, b) has it in their possession and c) is a smartphone to boot. Sort of like AirBnB trying to use FB as a verification of identity.
    Just mindless!
    Raoul Duke likes this.
  9. Technician

    Technician TS Addict Posts: 677   +113

    no, it requires a new shot and they require an eye blink when shooting the pic, it uses a longer exposure and has safeguards that compare images as it is created.
    dms96960 likes this.
  10. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 860   +307

    I agree, I currently fail on all three criteria you mention.
  11. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,079   +330

    Did you even read the article if this thing is smart enough not to be fooled by video you think a picture will do it?
  12. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,291   +55

    What if you wanted to use your parents credit card? And also with the 21 percent interest my master card charges you'd think they'd actually update to the chip system already. The money again doesn't go to employees. It's actually illegal. Judge marilyn said loan sharks aren't allowed to charge over 16 percent. My discover card still doesn't have the chip. Knowing wall street's attitude on hiring any employees, I wouldn't worry about picture identification until the turn of the century.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
  13. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,936

    To hell with this idea, it's stupid. I'm not minded to smile into some camera with a stupid, cheesy grin plastered all over my mug everytime I want to transact. They'd better come up with something a bit better than this.
  14. DjKraid

    DjKraid TS Guru Posts: 536   +21

    So um yeah, why not just move back to the old card payments where you had to put the card in a device that then "copied" the details to a piece of paper that then had to be taken to the bank...
    Even if they would have an algorithm that would be able to recognize videos n stuff it wouldn't still be able to recognize most of the people who live in places where there's a proper winter...and what about those who don't shave for 2 weeks...?
  15. HiImTim

    HiImTim TS Rookie Posts: 29

    Facial recognition sound like a good idea in the case of suspicious purchases.
  16. DAOWAce

    DAOWAce TS Booster Posts: 248   +30

    So what about the people like me who don't have a smartphone?
  17. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 6,551   +332

    I've never had a credit/debit card & never will. :) :) :) :)
  18. Julian Clayton

    Julian Clayton TS Rookie

    And Apple Pay is operating on the assumption that everyone has an iPhone.
  19. Julian Clayton

    Julian Clayton TS Rookie

    Then this won't affect you!
  20. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 6,551   +332

    Thankfully ur correct :)

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