A rash of cyber-attacks and identity theft has created an urgent need for payment processors, retailers, and financial institutions to utilize better identity verification technologies to protect consumers and their own assets. Major financial companies and merchants have turned to built-in devices in mobile phones to lower instances of identity theft. Selfies are no longer just for posting on social media accounts. Facial recognition has been used to verify identity for years, but now merchants are using it to add an extra layer of security during transactions. Facial recognition can be used by high risk merchants, like those in the firearms industry, to drastically reduce fraudulent activity and maybe save lives.
MasterCard is piloting a Pay-By-Selfie facial authentication that requires customers to authenticate payment by a “selfie” when making online and instore purchases. At checkout, customers must take a photo with downloaded facial recognition software that will allow or disallow the transaction. The scan is then converted into a code for secure transit. This pilot program only involves about 500 customers, but MasterCard expects a wider release in the coming months.
For companies in the high risk market, selfie authentication could significantly decrease instances of fraud and chargebacks. Merchants in the online firearm industry can use facial recognition to ensure that customers purchasing firearms are who they say they are. In the U.S., the ease at which almost anyone can purchase guns online has become a major concern for consumer safety advocates. Websites like Armslist host ads to buy and sell weapons. Users can search for and purchase guns to bypass background checks. With facial recognition merchants can keep guns out of the hands of criminals who often use the financial information of friends and relatives to purchase guns.
But will consumers readily accept selfie authentication when making purchases? Research indicates yes. A recent survey of millennials found that 87% carry their smartphones with them everywhere. Since millennials increasingly demand more from mobile, like healthcare services and shopping needs, they also demand more security measures such as facial recognition. In fact, data from Acquity Group shows that retailers who don’t implement enhanced payment security could lose one-fifth of their customers in the coming years.
All merchants in a high risk industry, like online firearms, must consider enhanced identity verification measures like selfie verification. EMB is a low hassle, low cost payment processor that will partner with merchants to develop and protect online firearm merchant accounts. Our agents will protect customer transactions and increase your profits.