MasterCard taps into "selfie generation" with new payment method

MasterCard is tapping on a huge trend to provide a more creative and safe way to pay - through selfies.

The company is currently testing the new mobile app called "selfie pay," which uses facial recognition through smartphone cameras to verify the identity of people doing online shopping through their phones.

Mastercard owners will need to register on the International Card Services' site to activate online payments. Following this, users can pay for things by simply looking at the smartphone and blinking once. The blink prevents thieves from showing the app a picture of the owner's face in an attempt to fool it.

A quick snap taken on the user's phone will be compared against MasterCard's stored image on file, using the card company's new technology.

MasterCard's President of Enterprise Security and Safety Ajay Bhalla said that the technology is an alternatives to passwords for "the selfie generation."

Around 200 employees of First Tech Federal Credit Union in the US will test the technology from September to October using fake accounts and fake money. MasterCard is also working on a similar trial in the Netherlands.

In addition to making purchases through selfies, MasterCard is also experimenting with fingerprint recognition payments using smartphone scanners as an alternative way to pay.