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MWC 2016: MasterCard Customers Will Be Able To Pay With Selfies

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Biometric authentication will be available to UK users this summer, MasterCard confirms

MasterCard is rolling out biometric security across its products and will allow customers to access their accounts with a photo of their face when using its mobile app, or using a fingerprint scan.

The system, which will be available in the UK and 14 other countries from the summer, will mean shoppers can complete a purchase online without ever needing to enter confirmation codes, passwords, or PIN numbers.

Say cheese

face recognition biometric lead 2The use of biometrics is growing rapidly across the banking and payments industry as companies strive for stronger and more reliable security processes.

The news was welcomed by other payment providers, who praised MasterCard for opening up further options and security provisions.

“MasterCard’s announcement is part of a larger movement towards allowing people to prove who they are, simply by taking a selfie,” said Paco Garcia, CTO of identity app Yoti. ”By offering an alternative to the hassle of remembering passwords and usernames, they are making their customers’ lives easier and more secure. The key challenge for any of the selfie authentication solutions we are seeing emerge at the moment is ensuring the right live person is in front of their phone.”

Last week, HSBC became the latest British bank to introduce the system through fingerprint scanning and voice recognition services when accessing accounts through a mobile device.

Barclays already allows some of its corporate clients and Wealth customers (those with a higher income or high valued assets) to log in to their accounts using a biometric reader, and also has voice recognition software, enabled for certain users, with RBS and NatWest also offering finger print technology to some customers.

A recent Visa Europe study found that three-quarters of 16-24 year olds in the UK would feel comfortable using information such as fingerprint scans, facial recognition or retina scanning in place of traditional passcodes.

Overall, three-quarters (76 percent) of this age group said that they would feel comfortable making a payment using biometric security, with over two thirds (69 percent) believe this will make their lives faster and easier.

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