Mastercard to start using selfies as ID for online payments

Of those who tested the software, 83 per cent said it was more secure than passwords

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The Independent Online

Mastercard has confirmed that it is to start accepting selfies and fingerprints as an alternative to passwords when verifying IDs for online payments.

The credit card firm has been testing selfie software in the US and Netherlands. Some 92 per cent of test subjects preferred the new system to passwords.

Some security researchers have said that biometric checks have the potential to cut fraud, but others have warned that they might not be as secure as traditional methods. 

Of those who tested the software, 83 per cent said it was more secure than passwords.

Mastercard plans to roll out the technology to the UK, US, Canada, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark.

Users download the software to their PC, tablet or smartphone to use the system.

Last week, HSBC said it was introducing voice recognition software as a security measure for its UK customers. 

HSBC follows Barclays, which is already using voice recognition for many clients, and RBS and Natwest, which both use fingerprint technology.

The technology works by cross-checking 100 unique identifiers. These include behavioural features such as speed, cadence and pronunciation as well as physical aspects including the shape of larynx, vocal tract and nasal passages.