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7 Strange Mobile Security Methods

As more mobile wallets come to market, security becomes a more common selling point. Some stick to tried-and-true methods like typing a PIN or password, but others are experimenting with less conventional ideas. (Image: iStock)

Snap a Selfie Snap a Selfie

Love them or hate them, selfies are here to stay. Sionic Mobile is trying to turn this narcissistic habit into a security measure by asking people to snap self-portraits for authentication. The company admits that 25% of consumers are uncomfortable with the idea, but says those are still good odds for its product. (Image: iStock)

The Eyes Have It The Eyes Have It

EyeVerify's idea is similar to the selfie concept, but much more up close and personal. Its Eyeprint ID, adopted by NCR's Digital Insight, examines the unique pattern of the blood vessels in a user's eye. This approach works with any phone that has at least a one-megapixel camera, EyeVerify says. (Image: Shutterstock)

Toe-Tapping Toe-Tapping

When Apple debuted Touch ID, its fingerprint authentication system, some curious customers tested it out with other body parts. Touch ID can recognize toes, nipples and animal paws for authentication, leading to some potentially awkward scenes at the point of sale for Apple Pay users. (Image: iStock)

Wearable Security Wearable Security

Apple Watch can make Apple Pay payments without a nearby iPhone, but only if it's strapped to the customer's wrist. Whenever the Apple Watch is removed, it locks up and can't be used for contactless payments until the user enters a PIN. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Pay with a Pulse Pay with a Pulse

Another approach to wearable payments - and perhaps a response to the success of Fitbit and other wearable health trackers - is the Nymi Band (pictured), developed by Bionym. The band, which MasterCard and RBC began began testing last year, has a built-in heartbeat sensor that provides authentication for contactless payments.

Smile to Pay Smile to Pay

Another variation of the selfie-as-password, Alibaba's "Smile to Pay" will roll out first in China, then expand worldwide in 2017. It compares a user's portrait to one taken earlier (presumably while the user was smiling). (Image: iStock)

Nod to Pay Nod to Pay

Eaze's "Nod to Pay" for Google Glass is less about security and more about style. To make a purchase, the Google Glass wearaer would scan a QR code and see transaction details on the headset's built-in screen. The payment won't go through until the user nods in approval; the system also provides optional spending limits and PIN protection. (Image: iStock)

As more mobile wallets come to market, security becomes a more common selling point. Some stick to tried-and-true methods like typing a PIN or password, but others are experimenting with less conventional ideas.

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