In an age where everything from laptops to phones and watches have cameras, MasterCard is testing the possibility of allowing customers to use a “selfie” instead of a password in order to make online payments.
Most banks use a system of passwords and identification data in order to verify that the purchase is actually made by the card owner. However they can sometimes be tedious and time-consuming.
MasterCard launched a system called SecureCode, and that system had the great benefit of keeping your information between you and your bank, without passing this information to the merchant.
Instead of entering your private bank data like the credit card number and expiration date on websites,the MasterCard SecureCode allowed you to verify your identity only towards your bank, keeping personal information from reaching 3rd party members like merchants and websites from accessing it.
However the SecureCode had one flaw commonly found in all security measures, the password could be easily forgotten or stolen, meaning that instead of someone getting a hold on your identification data and bank number , they could rob you blind using your SecureCode password.
This could be easily fixed by using a proper unique identification system, like a photograph which contains hard to copy traits. Not only can it be more secure but it can simplify the process of online shopping quite a lot.
Mastercard stated that the info will be transferred securely. Users also do not need to worry since the company will not be able to reconstruct the user’s face using the data, meaning the information cannot be used by a third party facial recognition software.
The test is currently involves only 500 customers but will be enlarged to include more people when the software will be a little more polished.
However the “selfie” passwords could be cracked by specialists and hackers if they somehow figure out how to trick the software by a using a picture or video for example.
Mastercard has announced it is working on other identification techniques like fingerprints and voice recognition, which if used simultaneously can become quite a powerful anti-theft system. Using even two of the identification forms like the voice recognition and the facial recognition could potentially be more secure as a password than any classical approaches.
Having to take a “selfie” and repeating a random bank given word out loud for identification could be less time consuming and more user-friendly as well as more secure, potentially boosting online shopping statistics and keeping customers happy.
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