When it's actually available, the ability to buy stuff just by waving your phone or scanning your fingerprint is still pretty cool and futuristic-feeling. But in the near future, securely shopping online with your credit card might just involve something you already do a zillion times a day: taking selfies.
Following successful testing last year, MasterCard said it plans to roll out new "selfie pay" security technology in the US and more than a dozen other countries over the next several months. Basically, the new feature will work by scanning your face via your phone's camera to verify for your identity. Once "selfie pay" is available, it'll require a new MasterCard app that you'll use to take a selfie right after you enter your credit card information just like you normally do when buying something online, according to a report by The Verge.
MasterCard said it will use facial recognition algorithms and require you to blink to ensure you're actually taking a selfie and not just holding a photo in front of the camera. However, the company said that using "selfie pay" might not always be needed, but rather when it believes further verification is needed before completing the transaction. In addition to the selfie feature, MasterCard will allow you to use your phone's built-in fingerprint scanner for verification purposes and is even working on more security measures that monitor your heartbeat, scan your iris, and even the use of voice recognition, according to a report by CNN Money. Other credit card companies are also exploring similar methods, mostly because your basic password sucks.
While taking a quick selfie might sound kind of fun, it could mean that you might literally have to look yourself in the face before pulling the trigger on that ridiculous edible spoon maker.
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and is equal parts excited and terrified about the future. Send news tips to email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.