Author: Sheila Hill
In today’s consumer-driven world, shoppers are spending less time in stores and more time doing their shopping online. With this increase in online spending also comes an increase in the amount of identity theft victims across the globe.
While companies all over are actively exhausting all efforts to protect their customers against this fraud, one company in particular has thought of a very creative security scheme to help its users.
MasterCard is in the process of launching an app that will have its users take a photo of their face as a means to verify their identity. Youngins everywhere now get to combine two things they do best: selfies and shopping.
Ajay Bhallah of MasterCard told CNN Money during an interview, “The new generation, which is into selfies… I think they’ll find it cool. They’ll embrace it.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think it’s going to be “cool” to look myself in the eye before making an impulse buy; still, *snaps* to MasterCard for coming up with this creative idea.
While it seems a bit far-fetched to me, it’s definitely a unique approach to try and hinder the incidence of mobile fraud. At the very least, it is a fun and interactive way to get its users used to two-factor authentication.
How It Works: When you buy something with your MasterCard, the app sends a notification to snap a picture of your face to verify that it’s really you making the purchase – every Snapchat-obsessed-shopper’s heaven.
To make sure identity thefts don’t simply hold up a picture of someone to the screen to breach this security, the up-and-coming MasterCard app will also have the individual who is making the purchase blink once while taking the selfie. Smart, huh?
The photo of your face will never be transmitted anywhere other than your own mobile device, further ensuring its users’ safety. The photo is simply converted into a sort of “digital fingerprint” and then sent to MasterCard, whereupon they can then verify your identity and confirm your purchase.
MasterCard is still in the very early stages of developing these security features, and plans to let 500 cardholders test the app before they introduce it to the world.
What do you think about this new app? Do you think it is a positive and innovative step towards stemming the incidence of identity theft?
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