Ask anyone the one apprehension they have with digital financial services, and it will invariably be security. This has pushed companies in the sector to create innovative solutions to ensure the safety of their customers when they are using their services.
As one of the leading credit card service providers in the world, MasterCard just rolled out a new option when it comes to verifying your identity for an online purchase: a selfie or your fingerprint.
If you have one too many passwords, and who doesn’t these days, a selfie password may be the answer. The MasterCard ID Check app was tested in the U.S. and the Netherlands last year, and according to the BBC 92 percent of the users preferred it over entering passwords.
To use the MasterCard ID Check app, you will have to download it on your smartphone, tablet or PC, and when you are ready to verify your identity, you can use your fingerprint or a selfie. If you choose a selfie, the app asks you to blink to make sure you are not holding a picture to set your selfie password.
Ajay Bhalla, Chief Product Security Officer, told the BBC, “Consumers hate passwords, the most commonly used password is 123456. So they are not secure, and people also use the same passwords for multiple sites. If one site gets hacked all the places that you use the same password get compromised — they are a big pain.”
As with any connected technology, there is always the potential hackers will be able to exploit the system, and this is no different. The BBC report points out facial scans and fingerprint sensors can be compromised.
For its part, MasterCard said the security mechanisms it has in place should prevent or at least detect suspicious behavior. The company also added, the fingerprint and selfie data will not be communicated in a way that could be intercepted, stolen or used by criminals.
In addition to convenience, MasterCard is looking to lower fraud and card rejections. As reported by the New York Post, the company loses $118 billion each year to card rejections, which is 13 times more than the cost of actual fraud. Identity verification is one of the biggest reasons for declining a card, and with this app, the company hopes that number will go down.
The new selfie password feature is going to be available this summer in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark.