New App Allows Consumers to Pay with a Selfie

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While selfies may seem like a practice that only millennials embrace, baby boomers and their parents may start snapping them shortly too.

Why?  Because they’ll be able to pay with a selfie early next year. And while this technology isn’t ready today, it’s coming down the pipeline so merchants should be aware.

In the first half of 2017, Mastercard will roll out Identity Check Mobile™ to the North American market, according to a recent press release on their website.

The payment technology application will use biometrics, including fingerprint and facial recognition, to verify a cardholder’s identity and simplify online shopping.

BMO Financial Group will be the first bank in the U.S. and Canada to offer the app to its corporate customers.

Mastercard and BMO partnered on a soft launch in the first week of October. They rolled the app out to 12 European markets and participants completed a survey afterward. According to their responses, 74% said biometrics are easier to use than passwords and 90% anticipate using biometrics for online payment security in the future.

Pay with a “Selfie”: How it Works

To use biometric payments, existing BMO commercial customers must opt-in to Identity Check Mobile™. From there, a single application – jointly provided by BMO and Mastercard – notifies the user immediately when payment verification is needed. The user then either swipes his or her fingerprint or takes a selfie.

Typically, existing verification methods take shoppers away from a retailer’s website or mobile app so they can type in a password. This process is inefficient and can cause a consumer to abandon his or her purchase, or the transaction declines if the password is incorrect.

Identity Check Mobile™ reduces the need for passwords and significantly speeds up the checkout process.

“Making the online payment experience near frictionless and more secure is a priority for Mastercard,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of Enterprise Risk & Security at Mastercard. “Moving this technology beyond the pilot phase is a significant milestone in the evolution of payments.”

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