MasterCard to introduce ‘pay by selfie’ to Romania in 2017

Newsroom 31/10/2016 | 16:35

MasterCard could introduce to the Romanian market facial recognition payment services dubbed ‘pay by selfie’ in 2017. The announcement was made by Mihaela Ciupala, Account Manager MasterCard Europe on Saturday at a press meeting. 

The payment method is part of the latest trends in the security of online payments and represents the first widely available solution that eliminates the need to remember passwords. It allows users to make online payments without the need for pin codes, passwords or confirmation codes. Thus, the password is no longer static and does not need to be remembered, instead it becomes something dynamic.

In order to make online payments by selfie, users must download the app, log in the user account and hit the Identity Check button. Next, the user must use the camera on his phone to snap a selfie (while making sure to blink) in order to complete the payment.

According to MasterCard Romania representatives, the initiative is aimed to make online payments safe and fast, while following the trends that surfaced in offline payments, where wristbands, smartphones and contactless cards have become popular.

37 percent of Romanians open to biometric authentication methods

The payment system was trialled with pilot schemes in the US and Netherlands and received positive reactions, MasterCard representatives said. In the Netherlands, 9 out of 10 participants said they would prefer to use this method of authentication, while 75 percent of respondents believe the service will cut online fraud in a significant way. A share of 77 percent said they are willing to use the biometric authentication method based on facial features and 83 percent said Identity Check was safer than a password.

The company is confident the Romanian market is ready to adopt the payment system, after a survey revealed that Romanians are open to adopt payment systems that involve biometric authentication methods. Specifically, 29 percent of respondents said they are interested in paying using the PIN o authorize payment by card, while 37 percent are more interested in biometric authentication (30 percent in methods using fingerprints and 7 percent in payment by selfie), and the remaining 33 percent said they would like to receive a unique code via SMS to authorize each transaction.

According to a MasterCard study, resetting a password takes, on average, 11 minutes and users reset passwords on average 1.4 times a week.

Georgeta Gheorghe

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