Amazon has just been granted the patent for a technology that will facilitate authorizing credit card payments with selfies instead of passwords. Normally when you are making a credit card payment on your mobile phone, you have to enter a password which, according to online retailers like Amazon, isn’t as secure as analyzing facial features provided by a selfie. Before patenting the technology that allows authorizing credit card payments with selfies, Amazon also patented the one-click purchase buying, although, after losing some money, I learned that it’s a pretty dangerous thing to do from a customer’s point of view.
Once implemented, this new technology (selfie for authorization) will allow mobile shoppers to make a purchase by taking a photo/selfie (or even a video) of themselves instead of entering their account password.
But why would you use a selfie rather than a password? This Re/Code entry explains why people would prefer to use a selfie instead of a password while making a purchase, “The entry of these passwords can require the user to turn away from friends or co-workers when entering a password, which can be awkward or embarrassing in many situations.” Makes sense.
Another problem with using passwords is sometimes people disable this option just to avoid going through the hassle of entering password each time you need to buy something. Believe me, people do that. This way, if someone gets hold of your mobile phone, he or she is going to have a field day. Even if you don’t disable the password option, sometimes you end up storing the password somewhere in a text file so that you can simply copy/paste the password from the phone itself, which again, leaves you vulnerable. But authorizing credit card payments with selfies totally changes the game.
The image recognition technologies are extremely advanced these days. Mobile phone apps can recognize facial features. To an extent, even Facebook can tell you whom to tag in a photograph. Of course using selfies for authorizing credit card payments will require a much advanced version of this image recognition technology. Besides, different smartphones and tablets come with different qualities of cameras. Some cameras are good and some cameras are not that good. Sometimes, people will be taking selfies while moving around or even while sitting in a shaky vehicle. So that must also be taken into account while enabling people to authorize credit card payments using their selfies.