Mastercard 'Pay By Face' Pilot Program Announced...

Are biometrics finally going mainstream?

Later this year, online shoppers using MasterCard will be able to get their purchases approved with a facial scan. MasterCard is to manage this as a fingerprint/facial scan pilot program for 500 customers:

At checkout, you hold up your phone and take a photo. Bhalla believes passwords are "a pain." He said people get an unpleasant surprise when a hacker gets into a particular website and knows the passwords. There are other solutions for when shoppers need to go up on the Internet, he said, and their bankers need ways to verify their identity. This particular product, he said, seamlessly integrates biometrics into the experience; an app allows the user to choose fingerprint or face as identification. All you need to do is tap, he said, and it asks you to verify the amount. As a video showed, the screen instructs the user to "blink now." CNNMoney said, "security researchers decided blinking is the best way to prevent a thief from just holding up a picture of you and fooling the system."

That's an interesting application. Let's see how the pilot goes.

The 'blink' feature is interesting. I am curious if it can be beaten by taking a photo and some basic digital editing to create a 'virtual' blink.

Eventually, biometrics will be used for online payments and accessing secured content but you have to imagine there will have to be a single 'standard' to make it easier for the hundred of millions of sites / apps / programs to reasonably integrate with.

You have to imagine there will have to be a single 'standard' to make it easier for the hundred of millions of sites / apps / programs to reasonably integrate with.

Agreed. There is good reason though to think why this will gain traction, given Mastercard's obvious influence in PCI DSS. Also making it easier is that fact that today, unlike ten or fifteen years ago, most of the millions of e-commerce sites are typically running code using pre-built (binary) EFT libraries, which are already designed for future extensibility.

But I wonder about the user acceptance part of it. Do I really want to make a video everytime I'm buying something online, wherever I happen to be? Maybe, for added security, you'll have to say "My name is A, and I do really, really want to get this!".

The fingerprint thing would seem better, providing verification without the ancillary capture of unrelated data.

Is there a fingerprint equivalent of 'blink'?

I have a retail customer in Brasil that verifies by face recognition to the bank when making large large retail purchase. Been happening since 2009 or so.

Interesting. Is it a custom solution that just the one retailer created and uses, or is it the banks system?

Also, do you know if the purpose is just to capture in case of fraud, or does it actually match against a pre-existing facebase in real-time?

the banks use the commercial program to verify someone is who they say they are. The bank has a photo of the face and the program tells the retailer the confidence grade of the match. Th retailer is also looking at the captured face and the face the bank has on file. They also are getting other information as well to verifiy. If all checks out then the store issues credit and a purchase can be made.

Thanks. What device captures and transmits the customer image to the bank, when making a purchase?

a Logitech camera similar to ones you would see at customs or port of entry. Image is sent from VMS to bank.

I think it's a great idea. It's only a few years ago we saw the introduction of "tap n'go" technology in Australia, however, the fact that anyone can use the card for transactions under $100 has resulted in a huge increase in card fraud.

My wish is that camera manufacturers would start taking facial recognition more seriously. In my opinion, surviellance systems that work with banking and other verification applications would help cut the fraud down as well as give manufacturers some increased sales potential.

Just a thought...