Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., right, stands for a selfie photograph with a customer during the sales launch for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at the Apple Inc. store in Palo Alto, California, U.S., on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Apple Inc.'s stores attracted long lines of shoppers for the debut of the latest iPhones, indicating healthy demand for the bigger-screen smartphones. The larger iPhone 6 Plus is already selling out at some stores across the U.S. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Tim Cook
As mobile wallets and other high-tech payment mechanisms proliferate, they bring with them more options for security. Companies are increasingly looking for ways to use devices' built-in cameras to urge consumers to take self-portraits for authentication.
Simferopol, Russia - July 13, 2014: MasterCard international payment system. It is founded in 1966 as a result of the agreement between several American banks.

MasterCard, First Tech FCU

MasterCard and First Tech Federal Credit Union are using selfies to improve e-commerce security. The companies anticipate a rise in e-commerce fraud after EMV-chip security comes to the point of sale, and their "Selfie Pay" project may provide similar defenses for the Web.

PayPal, Square Wallet

PayPal's app and the now-defunct Square Wallet asked users to take a self-portrait when signing up. This selfie would be presented to store clerks as a form of photo ID.
Jack Ma, billionaire and chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., center left, poses for a 'selfie' photograph with an attendee as he arrives for sessions at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Friday, June 19, 2015. SPIEF is an annual international conference dedicated to economic and business issues which takes place at the Lenexpo exhibition center June 18-20. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Jack Ma


Alipay, the payments affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is developing a "Smile to Pay" authentication service for mobile payments. Alibaba CEO Jack Ma demonstrated the system at a conference in Germany this year, and the system is planned to roll out worldwide in 2017.

Sionic Mobile

Sionic offers a selfie-based security system, but it acknowledges that one in four consumers are "really uncomfortable" with using self-portraits for authentication. "We're OK with those odds," said Ron Herman, CEO and founder of Sionic.


USAA was the first major U.S. financial institution to deploy a full-scale rollout of voice and facial recognition. To avoid letting fraudsters trick the system with a photo of the user, USAA also checks the smartphone's device ID. Users must also blink to prove that they are not a still photograph.


The smartphone isn't the only banking device with a built-in camera. ATMs have cameras for security purposes, and some banks are looking at ways to use facial recognition to improve security at the ATM, according to Hoyos Labs, a vendor of facial recognition technology.

Digital Insight, EyeVerify

NCR's Digital Insight is working with EyeVerify to integrate the security vendor's EyePrint ID system into mobile banking apps. Though the technology examines the blood vessels in users' eyes, the process of scanning these images is — from the consumer's perspective — no different than taking a selfie.