Thumbprints are last year’s news. Mastercard is wanting to step up its security by using selfies to verify your identity when purchasing your morning Starbucks. Maybe you staring at the phone will make you think twice about the fourth milkshake you call coffee in the past two hours.
Using the app is pretty straightforward. Once downloaded, you look down at your phone and blink once. The blinking is designed to prevent thieves from stealing your Facebook profile pic and having a shopping spree at Best Buy.
If you standing in line repeatedly blinking starts to irritate the people behind you, the app will also default to your fingerprint. Or, you could always pull out your credit card and swipe it. Don’t you remember the good ole days of swiping your credit card?
Or paying with cash? Memories…
Mastercard is joining a growing list of companies who have either launched alternative payment methods, or are experimenting with them. Apple Pay and Google Wallet are the biggest, working natively with their respective smartphone operating systems.
Other companies like Jawbone have integrated its wearables with companies like American Express. Its integration will pair with Jawbone’s UP4. Tying it to wearables will be a welcome addition to fitness fanatics.
We don’t want to haul around a collection of stuff and having cards synced to something like a Jawbone is a nice feature to have alongside keeping track of our workouts. Who doesn’t need an overpriced smoothie post-workout?
For now, the Mastercard is in its experimental phase. You can’t go to the respective app stores and download it today. The ‘selfie pay’ is just an idea being floated by Mastercard’s R&D department as a next-generation answer to its SecureCode system.
Damn, I just received my cards with chip and pin technology. Now they want selfies. What’s next? Well, Mastercard is also floating the idea of using voice recognition, and the company is even working on a feature to verify your identity via heartbeat.
The tinfoil hats must be flying off the shelves at this point. I can just hear the zany conspiracy theories now. What isn’t a conspiracy is with all this tech comes an ever increasing drain on your smartphone’s battery life.
It all sounds great until you realize the full-day battery life advertised only happens if you don’t use the device. Sometimes you wonder if companies are developing features for the sake of developing new features. Regardless of their practicality.