‘Selfies’ Will be Used for Security in Mobile Banking

Oct 20, 2015

For years, ATMs have used cameras for security. Banks have historically used facial recognition to improve security at the ATM. As acts of fraud become more blatant and insidious, financial institutions must be on the cutting edge of fraud prevention technology. In a world where cyber-attacks are at every turn, companies with mobile payment opportunities are finding common sense and lower cost solutions to security. Leaders in the mobile payments industry are now turning to built-in devices in mobile phones to help protect consumer information. Some major companies are urging consumers to use their mobile phone cameras to take self-portraits for authentication. The following is a review of innovations in the mobile camera security frontier.

Square Wallet, First Tech Federal Credit Union and MasterCard: Now-defunct Square Wallet asked users to take a selfie when they signed up for the app years ago. Users were to present this as a source of identification to cashiers.  First Tech Federal Credit Union and MasterCard are currently using selfies to buff up e-commerce security. Both companies anticipate a spike in e-commerce fraud once EMV-chip security makes fraud more difficult at the point of sale. They may also provide similar defenses for the Web.

Alipay: Chinese e-commerce company, Alibaba, has developed “Smile to Pay” authentication for the app Alipay. The app was demonstrated at a worldwide conference in Germany this year. The company plans to roll it out in 2017.

USAA: USAA is the first large U.S. financial institution to use a rollout of facial and voice recognition. To avoid fraud, USAA’s system checks the photo of the user and checks the smartphone’s device ID. In addition, users must blink to prove they are not a still photo.

Other major companies with mobile wallets offers a selfie-based security system, but acknowledge that about 25% of consumers are not comfortable with using self-portraits for authentication.

NCR and EyeVerify: NCR’s Digital Insight and EyeVerify are working on a system for mobile banking apps. The technology examines blood vessels in users’ eyes for verification purposes. This is an extra security measure that goes beyond the traditional selfie. Facial recognition has long been a technology used to combat fraud.

All merchants in the security industry, banking, or mobile payments industry should investigate selfie or retina forms of verification. eMerchantBroker.com is a low hassle, low cost payment processor that will partner with merchants to manage and monitor high risk merchant accounts. Our agents will protect your transactions and increase your profits. Contact us to start your merchant account today.

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