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Mastercard launches "pay by selfie" for online shopping

Lauretta Roberts
04 October 2016

Mastercard will from today begin the roll-out of its Identity Check Mobile app which allows users to authorise online payments with a fingerprint scan or face recognition, which could render passwords a thing of the past.

By using the app online shoppers will be able to complete purchases without entering a password or pin, which MasterCard believes will help increase the volume of online shopping (forgotten or incorrect passwords lead to abandoned baskets) and improve security.

When making a purchase online Mastercard customers will receive a pop-up screen on their handset, prompting them to authorise the payment through a password, scan or photograph. To ensure they are looking at the phone's camera and not simply holding up a photo of someone else they will be required to blink.

The roll-out to 12 European countries (more will follow next year) comes on the back of successful trials of the app in the Netherlands, US and Canada earlier this year during which, it claimed that 92% of customers preferred the new service.

Mastercard estimates that people have to enter passwords eight times a day for 10 different online accounts or applications they use regularly.

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