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Mastercard’s app that replaces passwords with selfies is coming this year

By: Eugene Kim – Business Insider AU

Everybody hates passwords. And Mastercard may have cracked the code on replacing it — with selfies.

Mastercard announced at the Mobile World Congress on Tuesday that it would roll out an app this summer that lets people approve online payments with selfies and fingerprints, making traditional passwords obsolete, according BBC.

The app, which is compatible with smartphones, tablets, and PCs, will first be made available in the US, Canada, and some European countries, including the UK, Netherlands, and Germany.

Here’s how it will work. Once you download the app, it will prompt you to blink before verifying a transaction, so it knows you’re not using a photo  — and within seconds, it will automatically scan your face before processing the payment.

“In the modern world everyone has a mobile phone and there is internet connectivity everywhere. So, we should be able to use biometrics [instead] to authenticate ourselves,” Ajay Bhalla, the head of Mastercard’s safety and security division told BBC.

Mastercard isn’t the only company working on technology that would help get rid of passwords. Deutsche Bank is considering passwords with biometric security, such as facial recognition, while Intel and Microsoft recently released new facial-recognition software called Windows Hello. Last year, Alibaba showed off a new technology called “Smile To Pay” that will allow users to make mobile payments by simply scanning their face.

Aside from the convenience factor, the new selfie check-out technology is also expected to help the growth of mobile commerce. According to BI Intelligence, conversion rates of consumers to actually buy something on mobile is much lower than that of PCs, largely due to the many steps invovled in making a purchase on a mobile device.

“Biometric authentication is especially useful in easing the friction of mobile buying, and could help boost these conversion rates,” BI Intelligence wrote.

Here’s a video of how Mastercard’s selfie technology works:

Source: Business Insider AU