MasterCard Launches Selfie Pay for Online Purchases

October 28, 2015, Written By Lynn Oldshue
Office selfie. Young and smiling mulatto girl sitting at desk in office and doing selfie.

MasterCard has been working on its facial recognition identity verification program for months, and it is finally coming to market. The MasterCard Identity Check platform, formerly known as “Selfie Pay”, allows users to authorize online purchases with a simple snap of a photo.

MasterCard first announced the development of Selfie Pay in August, saying the program would soon be tested in the United States and the Netherlands.

In order to use the new program, customers can download the MasterCard Identity Check app to their smartphones. The app requires each customer to set up a brief profile to act as a foundation for identity verification in the future. As part of the profile, users must take a selfie on their smartphones, which will be matched with the photo taken for each transaction.

While it may seem like a hassle to take a photo of yourself every time you want to make a purchase online, the process is designed to eliminate the struggles of forgotten passwords.

A recent survey from MasterCard showed 53% of consumers forget important passwords at least once a week, costing them an average of 10 minutes each time to reset their passwords and start fresh. While this may seem like a matter of pure inconvenience, that missed time translates to lost money for online retailers. One-third of respondents said they abandoned their online purchases completely as a result of forgetting their passwords. 60% said they missed out on time sensitive purchases, like auctions and concert tickets, because they forgot their password.

The idea of a selfie in place of a password could actually lead to increased volume for both the retailer and MasterCard.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of October 28, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.