MasterCard rolling out selfie ID checks to Canadians

Most consumers prefer it to using a password or PIN

You will soon be able to pay for your MasterCard purchase by taking a selfie.

The credit card company announced Monday it will soon begin accepting self-portraits and fingerprint scans as an alternative to passwords from cardholders who are verifying an online purchase.

To use the technology, MasterCard cardholders will need to download an app on their PC, tablet, or smartphone. When you go to make a purchase, you will still need to enter your credit card details as usual – but when a user authentication check is required for the purchase, you will be asked to smile for the camera, or use the fingerprint scanner on your device to authorize your purchase.

Of course, there are some security checks in place.

If you choose to take a selfie, you will need to blink a couple of times to prove you aren’t just holding up a picture.

MasterCard has been testing the “selfie pay” technology with a handful of Dutch and U.S. consumers over the last year and found that nine out of 10 consumers preferred the biometric identification system to using a password or PIN.

Of course, for those of use who have a hard time remembering all of our passwords and PINs, taking a selfie to confirm a purchase would likely be a more convenient means of payment – but is it secure?

MasterCard claims that biometrics – using human characteristics like your facial map or fingerprints to authenticate something – is more secure than using a password or PIN. The company also noted that facial scans and fingerprint data will be transmitted securely.

Mobile payment systems including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay also allow users to authorize purchases using their fingerprints.

However, security researchers have been able to trick both facial recognition software and fingerprint scanners in the past.

Selfie pay for MasterCard is expected to roll out to Canadian and U.S. consumers next summer.