MasterCard trial new way to confirm identity

We have mentioned before how the internet and smartphones have changed the way we live our lives. It seems that the way we confirm who we are when making online purchases is also about to change.

MasterCard are currently trialling a new app that allows customers to verify their ID by taking a selfie rather than entering a password or PIN (Personal Identification Number).

he thinking behind the new development is that we all have too many passwords and PINs to remember – and that they can also be stolen or intercepted.

The 500 people involved in the trial take a picture of their face using the MasterCard app when they reach the “checkout” stage of the online purchase. The app converts the photo into a series of 1s and 0s and then sends it via the internet to MasterCard. If the image matches a stored copy of the cardholder’s face, then the transaction is approved.

Those involved in the trial have been assured that MasterCard cannot reconstruct their facial images and that the information is transmitted and stored securely. The trial is set to widen later this year along with experiments involving fingerprint scanning and voice recognition software.

For those businesses that offer online shopping, this may well become part of the future checkout process. Whatever the outcome of the trial, if you offer your goods or products for sale online, then you need to make sure your website can be found online.

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