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MasterCard's 'selfie pay' slated for US rollout via BMO partnership

Existing BMO customers will be able to opt-in to the service and use the Identity Check app's fingerprint scanner or facial recognition technology to verify online purchases.

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Image: MasterCard

MasterCard is finally planning the North American launch of Identity Check Mobile, the payments app that lets users verify online transactions with biometrics including facial images and fingerprints.

The service will rollout in the US and Canada starting in early 2017 through a partnership with BMO Financial Group. Existing BMO customers will be able to opt-in to the service and use the Identity Check app's fingerprint scanner or facial recognition technology to verify online purchases.

The so-called "selfie pay" service minimizes the need for passwords while also working to speed up the digital checkout process and bolster security. Users must download the app and take a photo so the service can create a digitized map of their face, which is then stored on MasterCard's servers and used as a reference point when verifying purchases online.

The rollout in North America follows a successful trial period earlier this year. MasterCard said the pilot program revealed positive reviews on biometric security and ease of use, especially as compared with passwords.

"Making the online payment experience near frictionless and more secure is a priority for MasterCard," said Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise risk and security at MasterCard. "Moving this technology beyond the pilot phase is a significant milestone in the evolution of payments."

Identity Check Mobile is currently available across 12 markets, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. MasterCard plans to continue phased rollouts throughout 2017.