Selfies May Replace Passwords Within a Few Months

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In a few months, you should be able to verify your identity when shopping online by taking a selfie or scanning your fingerprint.

CNN Money reports that MasterCard will launch new mobile technologies that make this possible in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom over the next few months.

Specifically, a special mobile app will enable customers to take a photo or scan their fingerprint each time they make an online purchase.

CNN explains:

Their face (or fingerprint) will be scanned to prove that they — not hackers or thieves — are making a purchase. The scan will verify that it’s a legitimate selfie — instead of a previously taken photo — by requiring users to blink when they take their own photo.

Such authentication methods will be used regularly worldwide within five years, according to Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise safety and security at MasterCard. Facial recognition and fingerprint scanning are safer than passwords, he says, because many people use weak passwords.

MasterCard is also exploring other authentication methods, including monitoring a customer’s heartbeat as well as iris scans and voice recognition, CNN reports.

News of MasterCard’s upcoming authentication technologies comes less than a week after news that London-based bank HSBC launched fingerprint and voice recognition services to replace passwords for mobile banking customers in the UK.

Francesca McDonagh, head of retail banking and wealth management for HSBC UK, explains in a BBC News report:

“The launch of voice and touch ID makes it even quicker and easier for customers to access their bank account, using the most secure form of password technology — the body.”

How do you feel about authentication technologies like facial recognition and fingerprint scans compared with passwords and PINs? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page.

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