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Could Selfie Payment Verification Replace the PIN?

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In a move that is targeted toward the “selfie generation,” MasterCard has begun a payment verification trial with 500 card holders to snap away instead of typing in a PIN or, heaven forbid, signing for a purchase.

MasterCard is reportedly working directly with phone manufacturers to integrate selfie-based security, which requires the MasterCard app to authenticate transactions — since these darn kids today (and let’s be honest, plenty of adults, too) are taking over 100 million selfies a day anyway, why not throw in an extra one for that latte?

Valeri Potapova /
Valeri Potapova /

Apparently you can’t just use that gorgeous selfie you took when you were feeling sassy, though. The built-in “blink verification” ensures that the person who’s buying is really you. But if you’re camera shy or are having a bad hair day, a fingerprint can be set up for ID authentication is well.

This sounds fun, but it could end up being quite a hassle. Ultimately it’ll benefit credit card issuers more than individual users, since issuers are responsible for unauthorized charges. And if someone finds the kink in this new authentication armor – and they will; they always do – it may come back to haunt them.

H/T: View From the Wing

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