Would You Pay With a Selfie?

MasterCard wants to use selfies as ID for mobile payments, with Amazon and HSBC following. Is it easier and safer?
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Paying via mobile isn't a new concept — Apple Pay and Samsung Pay have both been around for a while now. However, these methods are plagued with security concerns. Passwords can be hacked, especially if people are hiding behind easily discerned codes.

Now banks are getting into the mobile payment world, using technology that has nothing to do with remembering a password.

MasterCard to Launch Selfie Pay in Months

MasterCard is planning to launch new technologies over the next few months, that will allow shoppers to verify online purchases using their fingerprints, or by taking a selfie. Fingerprints might not be that surprising, especially given how Apple has moved towards using scanners in recent iPhone models. But selfies are a different story.

Each purchase will require a scanned fingerprint or selfie to prove it's the shopper doing the buying and not a hacker or thief. Users will have to prove it's a real selfie and not just a photograph by blinking as they take their photo.

Banks, Amazon Coming Soon

MasterCard isn't the only one looking to change the way customers pay. HSBC is bringing voice and fingerprint methods to account holders accessing their money.

Amazon is joining in as well. It recently filed a patent for a kind of selfie pay system that would utilize photos and videos to authorize payment in similar fashions.

Readers, what do you think? Would you pay with a selfie? Or do you prefer more traditional methods? Sound off below!

Julie Ramhold
Senior Staff Writer/Consumer Analyst

Julie's work has been featured on CNBC, GoBankingRates, Kiplinger, Marketwatch, Money, The New York Times, Real Simple, US News, WaPo, WSJ, Yahoo!, and more. She's extolled the virtues of DealNews in interviews with Cheddar TV, GMA, various podcasts, and affiliates across the United States, plus one in Canada.
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1 comment
I know most people are selfie crazy, but not everyone likes to take pictures of themselves, or is going to be camera ready every time they make a purchase. Not to mention the security risks - even with the blink requirement. How many times have many of us had people take photos of us when we weren't expecting it, and blinked? And how many of those ended up posted on Facebook, or possibly even made into a meme, since posting unflattering pics of one's friends and family has become a favorite pastime. A fingerprint is abundantly more secure than a blinking selfie which could potentially be found anywhere with all the images of everyone floating around everywhere. I don't think selfies are any more secure than passwords, and could be considerably less secure. I think this is an ill-conceived idea, and not just for the camera shy.