MasterCard ‘Selfie Pay’

According to an article in The Irish Times, MasterCard has rolled out its new system named ‘Selfie Pay’. As the name suggests, the system lets you use your selfie as a mean for authentication for payments for MasterCard users. This system is mainly aimed at the users who do not like to remember and use passwords. And just like fingerprints and retina scans, the face of the Card Holder can be used to make payments.


In order to prevent people from fooling the system, the users are required to blink to show that they are real and its not just a photograph. They have called it Identity Check. SMS codes are a common norm today in two factor authentication, where you receive an one time password. However, anyone who breaches the security of your handheld device can break into your account as long as they have your phone.

To prevent unauthorized use, instead of just the one time password, the MasterCard app will popup and prompt the user to take a selfie of themselves instead which will be then used to match with the database of the MasterCard for authentication. The real security lies within the architecture of the app. The device does not store the actual fingerprint or the photo of the user and instead points on the picture of the face are examined used for authentication. Once the authentication is successful, the purchase or the transaction is approved.

With the popularity of selfies, and your face being your identity, it is also being used in virtual space where your face can distinguish you from others. Seems like MasterCard has successfully analysed the common habit of the people taking their selfies and used it as a medium where the online are made much easier and convenient.


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