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MasterCard trials self portrait-based payment authentication
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Jul 6, 2015, 06:25 AM
 
MasterCard is testing out an unusual method to verify the identity of a credit or debit card holder, by using photographs as an authentication method. The app is said to require the user to take a self portrait at the time of purchase in order to prove who they are, as MasterCard explores alternative ways for users to make mobile payments without having to provide a fingerprint or remember a PIN or password each time.

According to CNN, the mobile app will bring up a pop-up at the time of payment asking for authorization, with the option of scanning the fingerprint or taking the photograph. If the user opts for facial recognition, they must stare at the camera of the phone, with the app requiring the user to blink once to confirm it isn't a photograph or a model of the card owner's face.

It is claimed MasterCard will not get the photograph, as it will apparently get mapped out on the device into an easier to transmit and more secure form. While the app's analysis is sent over the Internet to MasterCard, the company assures that it cannot recreate the face based on the data it receives. The fingerprint will also remain held on the device instead of being transmitted.



Working with major tech companies including Apple, Google, and Samsung, MasterCard is operating a pilot scheme with 500 customers, with a wider launch also expected in the future. Other authentication schemes for payments are also apparently in development, including voice and heartbeat recognition.

Previous work in alternative identity confirmation methods involved a credit card with a built-in fingerprint sensor and location-based authentication.
     
OldMacGeek
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Jul 6, 2015, 10:02 AM
 
Interesting. Wonder how well it will work with changes in facial hair, makeup, etc.
     
azrich
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Jul 6, 2015, 01:00 PM
 
How well will it work when someone uses a picture of you from your Facebook page?
     
Lifeisabeach
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Jul 6, 2015, 02:01 PM
 
"How well will it work when someone uses a picture of you from your Facebook page?"

From the 2nd paragraph of the article:
"If the user opts for facial recognition, they must stare at the camera of the phone, with the app requiring the user to blink once to confirm it isn't a photograph or a model of the card owner's face."

I had to chuckle over the part about a "model". If you have the skill to make a facial model, it should be trivial to add a blinking action to it.
     
azrich
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Jul 6, 2015, 03:54 PM
 
I suppose it would have to be a movie then
     
SunSeeker
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Jul 6, 2015, 06:52 PM
 
By design this will have to work with bad angles and bad lighting
As a result it will not be as fussy as it could be and it should be trivially easy to make a movie or animated gif that blinks and fools their algorithm - I bet you could even superimpose another persons closed eyes for the blink

Not much skill or time would be needed to to do this (I'm thinking it would take about 5 minutes using something like keynote that can be set to switch between the two images)
     
   
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