Pay by selfie: Mastercard brings biometric technology to the UK

Lynsey Barber
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Selfies are just one form of biometric technology rising in popularity (Source: Getty)

Paying for things simply by taking a photo of yourself is now a step closer to reality as Mastercard brings its new biometric technology to the UK.

So called selfie pay will let customers verify their identity with a snap of their smartphone camera when doing online shopping, or with fingerprints, doing away with passwords and pins -welcome relief for those with terrible memories.

It's the latest of several efforts by financial institutions to introduce innovative ways to pay and log in to bank accounts, with voice and fingerprint recognition also increasingly the technology of choice.

Read more: Now you can open a HSBC account with a selfie

The ease of use for customers, increasing use of smartphones and greater security are often cited as the thinking behind the rise of biometrics and Mastercard's roll out of the tech begins after a successful trial in the US, Canada and the Netherlands earlier this year.

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

"This is a significant milestone in the evolution of payments. Shopping in person has been revolutionised 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.”

Read more: Passwords are passe: Nationwide is testing behavioural biometrics

Mastercard is in understood to be in discussions with several major banks in the UK to add support for the pay technology, which will then bring it to customers.

With new rules requiring two factor authentication across financial services by the start of 2018 as part of PSD2 requirements, the company is bullish on the prospect of banks adopting its Identity Check Mobile as a way of achieving this.

Watch how selfie pay technology works