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Thursday, 23 February 2017 08:40

The Selfie - not just a holiday souvenir, but also a way of authorising financial transactions?

Selfies are the common name for taking pictures of yourself. They are hugely popular, especially on social networks. Holiday selfies, for example with the Eiffel tower or the Roman Colosseum, frequently appear on users’ profiles. Some consider them infantile and narcissistic. However, this may soon change.

We shall move on now from the topic of self-portrait photographs to the security of passwords used in authorising financial transactions. The most common passwords are digit and letter codes, PIN numbers or accounts associated with a phone number, which receives text messages confirming transactions. Logging in to websites is also secured in a variety of ways. It’s usually possible to set the password yourself, which you enter in the appropriate place after providing the customer number that you have been assigned. Some banks and payment operators have an additional security measure which involves assigning image verification to a user account. The picture shows the current time and date, so the person confirming the login or transaction is assured that the connection is secure and the site was not hacked.

MasterCard has gone a step further in its efforts to secure customer transactions. In most countries where this company’s services are available, it is about to introduce payment authorisation by means of selfies.

This will be possible thanks to an application called Identity Check. Instead of typing in a password, which you can hack, you will have to take your own picture. The application is based on a facial recognition system. According to Mastercard, the changes are a response to customer demands, and are aimed at increasing the security of transactions. If your phone has a fingerprint reader, then identification in the application can also be done using your hand.

This application is already available in most European countries where MasterCard cards are support.