Amazon has filed a patent application for a technology that will allow shoppers to pay using a selfie or a small video. The company has mentioned that it is safer and less ‘awkward’ than traditional passwords. Customers would be required to take a picture or a small video to confirm the payment.
Amazon’s facial recognition system aims to ensure that he/she is the real customer and not a hacker, thieves or children, who might use their parent’s device to make purchases. In order to prove you are real and not a photo, the system would ask you to blink, smile or shake head.
For now, Amazon has not disclosed when the new technology will be available. The patent application filed on Thursday will be dependent on facial recognition technology and sensors to detect the action. Amazon said that with the new system, some of the loopholes in the traditional password system will be resolved.
In the patent application, Amazon has mentioned, “As people are utilizing computing devices for an increasing variety of tasks, there is a corresponding need to improve the security available for these tasks”.
In 2015, MasterCard also introduced a similar system called MasterCard Identity Check. The system is expected to be available in the US by the middle of this year. China-based Alibaba was also testing a facial recognition-enabled payment system last year.
MasterCard said that such a system would help speed up and simplify online transactions by avoiding the need to direct customers to third-party payment verification systems. When MasterCard announced the trials for the system in the Netherlands and the US, it said that the technology and data will move from dependence on the consumer knows (passwords) to what they have (mobile phone or other smart device) and who they are (biometrics).
Brendan Miller, an e-business and channel strategy analyst with Forrester Research Inc., said that there are chances that many consumers might find fingerprint-enabled verification easier than facial recognition.