Joel Callen


Tue, 7 Jul, 2015

You’ll soon be able to pay for things using facial recognition software

You’ll soon be able to pay for things using facial recognition software

Forget your PIN. Throw away that pen, because signing is a thing of the past. The new way to pay for things by credit card is the selfie. Yes, you read that correctly – you’ll soon be able to pay for your purchases using facial recognition software, MasterCard announced last week.

The technology, created by MasterCard in a partnership with tech giants Google, Apple, and Samsung, will digitise one’s face into a series of ones and zeros, convert that series into a hash, and then compare that with one stored on the MasterCard servers. If all of that sounds a little complex, don’t worry – it’s confused us as well. All we know is that people far cleverer than us have come up with a fancy way to use technology.

The technology will be used through an app on smartphones, which is activated with a fingerprint, or by staring at one’s phone and blinking once – a trick used to prevent people using a photo to hoodwink the system.

MasterCard have revealed that they won’t have access to the photos, as it will be converted to the hash (see: the confusing process one paragraph above) to be stored in their database – they’ll never be able to recreate your face using the stored information.

A test with 500 cardholders is expected to begin soon, with plans to launch the technology worldwide next year.

Related links:

Will cash be dead in a decade?

The world's most liveable cities revealed

These dolls with disabilities are flying off the shelves