Card fraud has been a vexing problem for all institutions. Recent fintech developments may begin to reduce that by increasing the authentication of the payee. One very intriguing method of authentication for card purchases is “selfie pay.” It is exactly as it sounds. A picture of the payee’s face is taken at time of purchase and is compared to a stored picture for verification. Presumably bad hair days won’t create a problem. MasterCard successfully tested this with First Tech Federal Credit Union last year and now is rolling it out in Europe. (Link below)

Google also has gone down this path with its “hands free” app. Again, facial recognition is the basis for authentication, but with the added twist of geolocation to insure the mobile phone is at the point of sale to verify identity. However, Google just announced it is killing its “hands free” app. It appears, based on the notice on their website, that something more is yet to come. (Link below)

Amazon has applied for a patent on their version of “selfie pay.” American Express and PayPal have also jumped on that bandwagon. (Link Below)

Not to be left out, VISA has announced a partnership with a firm to utilize multiple methods of biometric authentication, not just facial recognition.

Not mentioned is Apple, or more precisely Apple Pay. While Apple has invested in facial recognition it isn’t as needed since Apple Pay authenticates with fingerprint recognition. Apple just acquired RealFace an Israeli facial recognition software firm. Facial recognition would be redundant; however, that doesn’t rule it out in the future.

Obviously, there is a strong initiative among payment systems to provide a more secure method of authentication; one that reduces the ability to be hacked.

Facial recognition technology is advancing quickly. I recently read an article about marrying facial recognition with police body cameras. There certainly is a “big brother is watching” aspect to this. Civil rights issues aside, this makes sense. A few years ago, I read about facial recognition software available for churches that could identify attendees at church events. A camera captures images of attendees and compares the images to a database of the members’ photos. An attendee list could be generated from these images. A much “bigger brother is watching” in this case.

What if a digital camera recorded everyone entering your facility and used facial recognition to compare these images to your bank’s ID database (scanned drivers’ licenses)? Then in real time, flashed a message on your front desk staffs’ workstations that Mr. Smith and Ms. Jones had entered the lobby. The message would identify the visitor, but could also provide additional relationship information. Your staff would be able to greet each customer by name. This may be pie-in-the-sky, but it certainly looks possible.

U.S. Biometrics Pilot a SuccessMasterCard’s ‘Selfie Pay’ Comes to EuropeGoogle Pairs Facial Recognition With Location Tracking to Make Payments QuickerGoogle is Killing its Experimental Hands Free Payment AppThanks for Your Interest in Hands FreeAmazon is Trying to Patent Paying With a SelfieIs Facial Recognition for Payments Going Mainstream?Visa, BioConnect Explore Password Free Multi Factor AuthenticationApple Reportedly Snaps Up Israeli Facial Recognition Company RealFace for $2 MillionBlack Friday Set a Record as the First $1 Billion Mobile Shopping Day in U.S. HistoryPayment Trends in 2017: Will Mobile Payments be a Game Changer?