Mastercard Launches “Selfie Pay” in Europe

Finally, a good use for selfies.

This week Mastercard announced that it is officially rolling out its biometric authentication technology, what it’s unofficially calling “Selfie Pay,” in Europe. Following on the heels of pilots in the Netherlands as well as the U.S. and Canada earlier this year, Mastercard is introducing the technology in 12 countries across Europe.

Mastercard Identity Check Mobile allows users to authenticate themselves using their phone’s fingerprint scanner or taking a photo of themselves. The biometric authentication methods eliminate the need for shoppers to remember PINs or passwords.

In Europe, Mastercard has found an audience open to the idea of biometrics. In fact, in its recent Impact of Innovation study (see accompanying article in this issue), Mastercard found that both Western and Eastern Europeans trust fingerprint authentication more than they trust PINs.

And after its pilot in the Netherlands earlier this year, the company reported that nine out of ten of the Dutch participants said they would like to replace passwords with biometric authentication.

“We are relentlessly focused on making the online payment experience near frictionless, without making any compromises on safety and security,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of Enterprise Risk and Security, Mastercard.

“This is a significant milestone in the evolution of payments. Shopping in person has been revolutionized thanks to advances like contactless cards, mobile payments and wearables, and now we are making Identity Check Mobile a reality for online shopping in Europe, and soon, the world.”

Mastercard is launching the technology in the UK, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. The company said it plans to continue expanding the availability of Identity Check Mobile into other countries throughout next year.

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