SEATTLE (3/16/16)--Retail giant Amazon has filed a patent application for technology that would allow customers to authenticate their purchase with a picture or video of themselves.
The patent is designed to make it safe for shoppers to buy items online by relying on images of themselves instead of a password, which can be hard to remember and dangerous when stolen, and also apparently less awkward when making purchases when accompanied by friends and family members (PYMNTS.com March 14).
“The entry of these passwords … can require the user to turn away from friends or co-workers when entering a password, which can be awkward or embarrassing in many situations,” Amazon wrote in its patent application.
MasterCard rolled out its “selfie pay” concept in the fall of 2015. The feature will make it possible for merchants to verify the identity of a shopper by looking at a photo of their face. That rollout will continue throughout the United States in 2016 and go global in 2017.
To make the new service work, a photo is taken every time a customer makes a MasterCard purchase via a phone app. The picture is then used to authenticate the user’s identity--in addition to a password--through cross comparison with a photo the user has already supplied to MasterCard.