Mastercard: Face recognition to kill passwords in 5 years
05 October 2015 14:56 GMT

Global payments giant Mastercard says a biometrics payments service it is rolling out will kill passwords within five years.

The service is called MasterCard Identity Check, and lets people make purchases online by taking a selfie and blinking rather than entering a password.

MasterCard Identity Check will be first available to financial institutions across the US by mid-2016, followed by a global roll-out in 2017, Mastercard wrote in a statement on Friday.

It says that one of the goals of MasterCard Identity Check is to help boost merchant retail sales by reducing the number of people who abandon their shopping basket without completing the purchase.

"We believe that security is one of the barriers which is actually inhibiting expansion of e-commerce, because people have to remember passwords and because it is very inconvenient," said Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise security solutions at MasterCard.

"The idea is these technologies should actually change your life, and make it extremely convenient to do shopping on e-commerce sites or on your mobile phone. That’s what we’re trying to refine in these programmes."

"Facial recognition is not new, but in the past the technology was not robust enough. What we do need to ensure is the customer experience is outstanding," said Bhalla.

"Selfies are cool at the moment, so I think that's the one that will really take off, but we are in 210 countries, so I believe giving a choice of face and finger and voice will cater to various tastes around the world."

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