Pay-By-Selfie Technology May Be Coming to Amazon

March 15, 2016, Written By Lynn Oldshue
Handsome young man making a selfie picture with phone, isolated over gray background

Amazon has filed a patent application that indicates the retailer may soon allow shoppers to authenticate their purchases with a picture or video of themselves. The company had already filed a patent application for selfie technology, but it did not involve payments.

“The entry of these passwords … can require the user to turn away from friends or co-workers when entering a password, which can be awkward or embarrassing in many situations,” the patent reads.

The patent also promises that consumers can complete transactions through a mobile phone or computer, and the technology “can prompt the user to perform certain actions, motions, or gestures, such as to smile, blink, or tilt his or her head.” This feature will make it harder for hackers to breach accounts by simply using a photograph of the user.

Amazon has not officially commented on this patent, but many media outlets, including PYMNTS.com, have published copies of the application.

Other companies that are moving to pay-by-selfie include MasterCard and Alibaba. MasterCard allows merchants to verify shopper identity by looking at their pictures, and the technology will be introduced throughout the United States in 2016 and will spread worldwide in 2017.

MasterCard’s new service works by requiring customers to take a photo every time they make a purchase via their phone app. The picture, and a password, are used to authenticate the user’s identity. Users can also use their fingerprints to validate their identity.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of March 15, 2016. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


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