Mastercard test “Selfie” authentication

If you’ve been reading the news lately you can hardly have escaped the “Selfie Queen” Karen Danczuk and her high profile marriage breakdown. Now Mastercard has some good news for her, a real life application in which they aim to replace SecureCode (Mastercard’s secret code to protect against unauthorized use of your card) with Selfies.

Mastercard’s new pilot program aims to help shoppers improve the security of their transactions by taking the selfie photos of themselves. Ajay Bhalla, President, Enterprise Safety and Security at MasterCard, explained “We want to identify people for who they are, not what they remember.”

The pilot, which is thought to include about 500 users in the US, enables them to take a selfie by blinking to activate the authentication. Blinking aims to stop hackers from using a photograph and the actual image captured will not be sent over the network, it’ll be converted into a cipher. However if fraudsters find ways to impersonate people’s faces the only way to prevent unauthorised transaction may be to not allow authorisation via selfie. This is nothing new – it’s the same as if you authorise by fingerprint and your prints are compromised.

MasterCard will be testing a range of authentication methods including facial identification, colloquially known as Selfies. They are also exploring the use of voice recognition and heart beat through a wearable wristband.