PASADENA ( — Say Cheese! MasterCard is testing a new mobile app that allows shoppers to authorize online purchases with snapshots of their faces, no passwords or thumb prints needed.

Here’s how the app works: After you download MasterCard’s Identity Check app, go shopping online. When it’s time to check out, you tap and verify the amount. Take a selfie and blink. The transaction is approved, and you’re done.

The blink prevents thieves from showing a picture of your face to the app. It then uses facial recognition technology to compare the picture you just took to the one you created when you enrolled.

Gifford Hesketh is with FaceFirst, a company that specializes in facial recognition technology. He said the technology is not good for high-security applications.

“Security and convenience are sort of at the opposite ends of each other,” Hesketh said. “It might look like me sometimes, it might not look like me sometimes. I can tilt my chin up or tilt my chin down, and I look like two completely different people.”

According to MasterCard, the selfie-payment option appeals to millennials and cuts out the need to remember a password.

“It’s a lot more faster instead of putting in a password, just take a quick selfie,” Pasadena resident Sandra Moreno said.

El Monte resident Catalina Nguyen said: “There can be other people that have similar characteristics like facial features like yours. So, how can they be sure exactly?”

The app allows you to choose your face or your fingerprint.

Right now, about 200 people are testing the selfie pay app in the United States. But there is no word on when or if it will be available to customers.

Comments (2)

Leave a Reply