Monday, February 22, 2016

MasterCard Introduces Selfie Pay

Charisse Jones titles the article I have chosen to read this week “MasterCard Tries Out ‘selfie pay’ For Online Purchases. This article introduces MasterCard’s newest security feature for making online purchases. This feature involves taking a selfie of yourself with your smartphone in order to prove that it is you who is making the purchase. In order to use this feature, the MasterCard holder must download a special Identity Check app. Through this app, MasterCard has developed a special technology system that requires the cardholder to hold his or her phone up to their face as if they were going to take a selfie, and then they must blink to conclude a transaction. The act of blinking serves as an extra security feature that prevents a criminal from just simply holding a picture of the cardholder to the camera.
The article mentions how biometrics are considered to be the future of credit card security because you can’t forget your password when it’s your face. Another reason for it being successful is because it is way easier to guess or steal someone’s PIN compared to using a picture of their face. I completely agree with this point because whenever I make a purchase online or even in public I fear that someone will see me typing in my PIN and then they will steal it. Although I find the idea of taking a selfie in order to prove it is I making the purchase a bit odd, I definitely feel that it is a secure and safe alternative to typing in a PIN. I also like the idea of a selfie for online purchase security because I can never remember any of the passwords that I create for all of the online accounts that I create. Taking a picture of myself will solve the problem for forgetting all of my passwords.

Not only is selfie pay a convenient way to solve the problem of forgetting online passwords, the article points out that millennials love how the feature provides the convenience of taking a picture for data capture. Personally, I can relate to this because I almost always have my phone in my hand. Being able to take a quick selfie rather than typing in a password is a feature I would value highly because it seems so simple. The article states that Mitek took a poll of 1000 millennials and the results stated that 28% of them made their purchases via smartphone. However, I believe the author's decision to include this fact may discourage non millenials from using the selfie pay feature because they may feel it is not targeted towards them. Though MasterCard is apparently testing other new technological safety features such as voice recognition and heartbeat recognition in order to tell who someone is. I believe these features may be more appealing to MasterCard’s non millennial customers.
article: Jones, Charisse. "MasterCard Tries out 'selfie Pay' for Online Purchases."USA Today. Gannett, 20 Oct. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.


  1. HI Ann,
    This is very different way of online purchasing. I feel that this addition is a very safe and effective way to ensure the safety of your banking accounts. Identity theft is something that is so relevant in todays society so anything that can help prevent it I support! From what I understand you have the choice if you want to participate in this function or not so its really up to yourself, the company is not forcing it upon you. The feature that makes you blink is extremely crucial so that the app can identify that its actually you and not just a recent photo. I agree with Ann when she says that it may be a bit awkward or odd having to take a selfie every time you decide to make a purchase or any type of transaction. On the other hand you won't have to worry about forgetting your password and having to worry about some else figuring it out as well! This new addition address a lot of concerns and I think it will be great for both Master Card and there customers!

  2. I think Mastercard's idea of selfie pay is definitely something that will appeal to our generation and future generations. However, I don't think that the generation of our parents and grandparents will understand it, or even use it at all. This eliminates a huge portion of our population and will definitely be a drawback. I think it targets a smaller population than the idea of using a pin- which is universally known as a way to purchase an item with a credit card. Although identity theft is a common problem with pins, I think the selfie pay could be just the same. Although you must blink to complete a transaction, imagine if one day I was wearing makeup and the next I was completely makeup-free. Would the camera recognize me as me? Hair up versus hair down? Would there be glitches? Also, think about people who forget their phones at home while shopping, or even worse, what if people's phones die while they are out shopping? This happens to me all the time, so depending on my phone to take my picture and pay for my products would be a little unreliable. Sometimes, people's front cameras even break when their phone shatters. If this happened, how would I pay for my things? In my opinion, this seems to be a bit silly and I am not sure how well people will take to the idea of selfie pay. But like you said there are some benefits- like not having to remember your pin and not having to bring your credit cards around. Although, in my opinion, the negatives outweigh the positives in this one. I am interested to see how well selfie pay does in the future!


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