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MasterCard: Retailers Can Use "Pay-By-Selfie" Starting 2016

Customers can snap a selfie to verify their identity while shopping online and in stores.

MasterCard: Retailers Can Use "Pay-By-Selfie" Starting 2016
[Photo: Flickr user Georgie Pauwels]

MasterCard is rolling out a "Pay By Selfie" feature that allows retailers to verify an online shopper's identity using a photo of their face. The new functionality will be available to stores and e-commerce services in the United States beginning in the middle of 2016, and in the rest of the world in 2017.

Last week, Fast Company covered MasterCard's pilot project for selfie pay. A user takes an initial photo of themselves to establish their identity. When that customer makes subsequent purchases by credit card, they take a new photo of their face, which an algorithm then compares to the original to verify the identity.

The service, called MasterCard Identity Check, offers retailers a range of verification services including more conventional ones like single-use passcodes sent to customers by SMS text message.