Slideshow 7 'Selfie' Security Tools for Payments

Published
  • August 21 2015, 12:28pm EDT
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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.

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.

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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.

Alipay

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.

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USAA

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.

ATMs

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.