MasterCard Is Using Facial Recognition for Online Purchases

Josh WolfordTechnology

Share this Post

Biometric security is on the rise, by all reports. One recently suggested that by 2019, over 770 million biometric authentication applications will be downloaded each year. Right now that number is about six million.

Apple and other smartphone makers are pushing it forward with fingerprint ID systems. Will biometrics ever completely edge out the password? Maybe. Hopefully. The password is terribly insecure, as we've seen over and over again.

Anyway, MasterCard wants to get in on this biometrics push by letting users confirm online purchases with their faces.

According to a report from CNN, MasterCard is set to launch a small pilot program (500 cardholders) that will allow people to use facial recognition to confirm purchases. Once you download the MasterCard app and buy something, you'll receive a confirmation alert.

From CNN:

If you choose fingerprint, all it takes is a touch. If you go with facial recognition, you stare at the phone -- blink once -- and you're done. MasterCard's security researchers decided blinking is the best way to prevent a thief from just holding up a picture of you and fooling the system.


MasterCard said it doesn't actually get a picture of your finger or face. All fingerprint scans will create a code that stays on the device. The facial recognition scan will map out your face, convert it to 1s and 0s and transmit that over the Internet to MasterCard.


MasterCard says it has plans to launch the feature publicly soon, after the trial period.

"The new generation, which is into selfies ... I think they'll find it cool. They'll embrace it," said MasterCard's Ajay Bhalla.

Oh, this is about selfie love? Ok, you've ruined it.

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf