According to new reports, Amazon has filed a patent application for a pay-by-selfie payment system.
First spotted by Re/Code, the patent application was published last Thursday for a system that would allow users to take a selfie or video to complete their transaction. According to the patent, which was first filed in October 2015, the system would ask users to perform "certain actions, motions, or gestures, such as to smile, blink, or tilt his or her head" to verify that s/he is the right person and "a living human being" not just a photo. The patent suggests that it could be used on any device with a connected camera including desktops, laptops, phones, and tablets. This feature could also help parents keep children from making in-app purchases.
Amazon is not the only one thinking about selfie payment systems. Last month, MasterCard announced that it will soon let customers pay with a selfie. The credit card company first started testing its facial recognition capabilities with employees from California-based First Tech Federal Credit Union last year. MasterCard let these employees use facial recognition or fingerprint biometrics to authenticate donations for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. The technology was also tested in a pilot in the Netherlands. Now MasterCard says that its Identity Check app will be available for customers in the US, UK, and Canada this summer, with more countries to follow. Like Amazon's proposed system, MasterCard said users will need to blink to prove they are real people, not photos. MasterCard is also working on other ways to authenticate purchases like using heartbeats.
Photo: © iStock.