MasterCard Testing Facial Recognition for Online Authentication

July 6, 2015

MasterCard Testing Facial Recognition for Online Authentication Want to shop online? Smile! Echoing a similar announcement made last March by Alibaba , MasterCard said it is introducing a way to authenticate online shoppers using the camera of their mobile device. This fall, MasterCard will pilot an authentication method for online purchases in an app that, when the user initiates a transaction, will send an authorization request to their phone. The user then can either have the device scan their fingerprint or hold the camera up to their face and blink once (to prevent being able to fool the technology with a photo).

MasterCard’s President of Enterprise Security and Safety Ajay Bhalla told CNNMoney that the company will not take or store a photo of the fingerprint or face. The app uses an algorithm to convert a scan of the person’s face to an encrypted hash. The hashed information is sent to MasterCard via the Internet and compared to another hash gathered when the user set up the app. The pilot will begin this fall with only 500 beta testers, but the company said every major device maker and mobile operating system provider including Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft and BlackBerry are participating in the pilot.