While the emerging world of mobile payments has allowed us to collectively envision a world where payments goes far outside good old fashioned plastic, it is likely the case that very few people ever imagined that they would literally be able to use their face to pay.
Or, more accurately, to verify their identity such that a payment can be completed.
But in continuing proof that reality will always beggar the imagination — Mastercard is rolling out pay by selfie across Europe this week in the hopes of making the world a safer place for everyone to shop.
Selfie pay – officially known as “Identity Check Mobile” is going live in a variety of European markets: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK. The big rollout follows trials in the U.S. and Canada.
According to Mastercard, the technology will be available worldwide sometime in 2017.
To make it work, users download the app and take a photo so the service can create a digitized map of your face. That picture is then stored to use as a reference point anytime the customer wants to buy something. To avoid someone using a picture of you, the app will ask users to blink before confirming the transaction.
The goal of the system is to further streamline the online checkout process “while also improving security.”