While places like Bank for America might want you to scan your fingerprints on your iPhone to access your bank account, MasterCard is going a slightly different route when it comes to bank security biometrics. Instead of entering a PIN, the company's latest pilot program wants users to take a selfie to authenticate their purchases, making its new facial recognition app the de facto Instagram of banking security.
In a statement issued by the company, Ajay Bhalla, MasterCard's president of enterprise security solutions, noted that the main draw of the new biometric tech was to extract one of the faultiest parts of banking security: PIN numbers. As Uproxx pointed out, "human beings suck at picking secure [passwords]," and remembering those passwords and PINs can get trickier with the more accounts and cards that you have. With the company's new selfie pay feature, the process is more streamlined, and in a way, more personable by default.
"We want to identify people for who they are, not what they remember," Bhalla said.
The selfie software can be accessed by downloading a MasterCard app. After the app is installed, users will then be asked to take a selfie to complete every online purchase made with their card.
MasterCard tested out the recognition software in autumn 2015. Using employees from First Tech Federal Credit Union as their study participants, the partnering company asked workers to make a donation to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals with the selfie app and then asked for feedback. According to its survey, roughly 88 percent of the testees considered it easier than entering a PIN, and an overwhelming 90 percent reported that they could see themselves using the app on the daily.
Last summer, MasterCard first announced its intentions to launch with a group of 500 customers to test out the beta.
Learn more about MasterCard's selfie pay in the video clip below.
Photo: davejoe | Flickr