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MasterCard to allow customers to take a selfie to verify online payments

MasterCard is launching a pilot program allowing customers to take selfies to verify their identities in making online payments.
/ Source: TODAY

Forgot your password? MasterCard will soon be accepting another form of verification: Your face.

Under a pilot program beginning in the fall, the credit card giant will allow customers to snap a selfie to verify their identities with facial scan technology.

The customer will have to blink in the picture to ensure that a potential identity thief isn't just holding up a picture of someone to the camera to gain access.

"I think you're going to see this technology in a lot of places,'' Benji Hutchinson, a facial recognition expert from MorphoTrust USA, told Tom Costello on TODAY Tuesday. "It's going to be on mobile phones, you're going to be able to use it at gas stations, you can use it at the DMV. You might even be able to use it at grocery stores at some point. You can already use it online. It's going to be ubiquitous."

Customers will have to download an app to use the feature, which goes beyond skin color or eye shape to verify identity. MasterCard is also rolling out fingerprint recognition software as well.

WATCH: Tom Costello explains why blinking is key to this technology

"What the computer is doing is looking for mathematical features it can use to compare against other photos in the database and some of those features are not even discernible by human being,'' Hutchinson said.

While "selfie security" is seen as a potential upgrade, it does present concerns, according to security experts.

"Those ones and zeros have got to be protected,'' cyber security analyst Theresa Payton told TODAY. "That is information that, candidly, belongs to me. That's now out of my control and could potentially be used by a hacker."

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