Mastercard Trials New Scheme to Replace Passwords with Selfies

The convenience of online shopping has applied severe pressure on traditional retail stores and many companies went into administration due to large overheads. In the past, consumers were rightfully concerned about fraud and a lack of protection when purchasing from unfamiliar websites. Thankfully, there are now security certificates and enhanced checks before a transaction can be completed. For example, MasterCard utilizes a SecureCode system which requires you to input a password before the payment is processed. This adds another layer of protection and failing to enter the right code on 3 occasions will enforce a card block. To remove this, you must contact MasterCard and provide a wide range of security details.

MasterCard’s SecureCode is a fantastic way to protect yourself online and eliminates the hassle of being contacted via a card company when a large transaction is made. However, any security expert will advise you to create different passwords for various credentials. If you currently only use one password across banking, entertainment mediums and other accounts, please change it immediately. Storing a different password for every purpose can be a difficult task and most users do not trust password management software. MasterCard believes the answer could be via photo recognition.

So how does this work? Firstly, an image corresponding to your account is recorded on file and compared to a snapshot you take to confirm your identity. The data from the image is converted into binary form and users must have the MasterCard app installed on their smart device to proceed. This piece of software also supports fingerprint recognition which many modern phones are beginning to accommodate. MasterCard has selected a small sample of 500 people and awaiting feedback to see if this is the future of internet banking. In a CNN Money interview, a MasterCard executive explained,

“We want to identify people for who they are, not what they remember.”

“We have too many passwords to remember and this creates extra problems for consumers and businesses.”

“The new generation, which is into selfies … I think they’ll find it cool. They’ll embrace it.”

I’m not entirely convinced though that customers are so willing to share their personal data even if an algorithm is used to analyse the picture. One’s privacy seems to be diminishing rather fast in the modern world and there might be a backlash from consumers who feel this new system is too personal and overly intrusive.

Let us know what you think of this new security system. Would you have a problem taking a photo of yourself to buy online items?

Thank You Sky News for providing us with this information.

MasterCard Teams Up With… Gwen Stefani for Apple Pay and ‘Priceless Surprises’

I don’t even know how to feel about this after Paul McCartney was singing as a hologram for Destiny, the game, but here we are – Gwen Stefani has teamed up with MasterCard to show off Apple Pay and MasterCard’s latest technology. You can check out the ad below:

To kick things off, MasterCard will debut a new 30 second TV spot today featuring Stefani who, with the help of a “Surprise launcher,” sends Priceless Surprises to cardholders paying with their MasterCard with Apple Pay. The spot features Stefani’s new song, Spark The Fire.

Surprises include everything from handbags and golf experiences to concert tickets, and even a chance to hang out with Gwen Stefani herself. The spot, directed by Sophie Muller of Wondros, exemplifies what the MasterCard platform is about: surprising cardholders with unbelievable prizes while also inspiring them to give, and share their own Priceless Surprises whether they’re paying with traditional credit, debit or prepaid cards or using innovative new payment options like Apple Pay.

Source: MacRumors.

Google Announces The Availability Of Google Wallet Debit Cards

It looks like the Google Wallet Card has been officially released. The prepaid debit card lets Google Wallet users make payments with their Wallet balance at ATMs, banks, and any business that accepts MasterCard Debit. You can request your own card as long as you’ve verified your identity, and Google says it should arrive within 10 to 12 days. Shipping is free, and there are no activation fees to get started with the card. From there, the Google Wallet Card can be used for purchases both online and in physical stores just like any other debit card, and you’re also able to withdraw cash from ATMs nationwide.

Your Wallet security PIN doubles as the debit card’s PIN when buying things, and Google has set a maximum limit of spending per day to $5,000. The Google Wallet Card was rumored to arrive earlier this year, but reports say that the project was put on hold by CEO Larry Page.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of The41st

Samsung and Visa Make Deal for Implementing Mobile Payment in Next-Gen NFC Devices

Efforts are made to make mobile payments easier and more practical in every step, like how Paypal introduced a mobile device to accept credit cards. Samsung went ahead and made a deal with Visa to do just that. The deal will allow Samsung to embed Visa’s own payWave mobile payment applet in the next generation smartphones and tablets with NFC (Near Field Communication). The alliance was formally announced on Monday at Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona.

The next generation Samsung Galaxy S IV is all set to be announced in March and is rumoured to have Visa payWave implementation. This is a news that many officials from Visa and Samsung have confirmed. Since the use of NFC has taken its time to grow, this alliance should help to speed things up.

However, Brad Greene, Visa’s head of NFC payment said that there has been some friction with the implementation of NFC in the United States. The reason why they signed up with Samsung was because the Korean company produces practically half of all the Android powered smartphones in the market today. Since their goal was to make mobile payments available through many devices, Samsung is special and it’s because of this that they get an advantage.

In the agreement, Samsung agreed to load the payWave applet in its devices with NFC embedded in a chip with an encryption algorithm called secure element. The payWave applet also can be used in SIMs, where it can be moved from phone to phone. Samsung will manage the encryption keys and provide security capability to banks and mobile carriers for allowing their users to activate the services.

This alliance will also allow banks and carriers to implement faster, easier and cheaper mobile payment options using NFC according to Greene. Currently Visa payWave is used in a consortium of AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and even Google Wallet.

However, Visa isn’t the only one eyeing up NFC functionality. MasterCard have also announced that it is expanding beyond NFC so that merchants can let customers use QR codes, credit cards and anything else for transactions.

Source: The Verge | Computer World