Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) plans to get rid of outdated security verification methods such as passwords and adopt a far more modern alternative; Selfies.
The card company announced that it is shifting to new mobile technologies that will let users validate their online payments through fingerprints or selfies. MasterCard expects the technology to be adopted by major banks in some European countries, Canada, US and the UK over the next few weeks.
MasterCard’s president of enterprise security solutions Ajay Bhalla said the new technology should be a regular thing all over the world in the next five years. Bhalla stated that facial scans and fingerprints are safer alternatives for security verification compared to passcodes because many people often use passcodes that are easy to guess.
A special app will be available for download to customers who wish to use selfies as their preferred verification alternative. Their fingerprints or faces will be scanned every time they want to make a purchase meaning they will have to take selfies each time they want to make payments. This will, in fact, make it harder for thieves or hackers because they cannot present their faces as someone else. It will thus be a better solution for payment verification. The scan will also verify that the selfie is legitimate and taken at the very moment, so one cannot present photos taken earlier.
Fingerprint authentication will take advantage of the recent smartphones that come with fingerprint readers such as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and the Sony Xperia Z5 from Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) among other devices. MasterCard also claims that it is trying to come up with other methods of payment authorization. Voice recognition, optical scans, and heartbeat monitors are among the prospects to be explored.
Other companies such as HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (NYSE:HSBC) are also getting on board with new tech that seeks to phase out passwords. HSBC announced a week ago that it will introduce fingerprint access and voice recognition to its phone banking services.