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Amazon’s latest patent will let you Pay-by-Selfie

Amazon has filed a new patent for payment method that will allow users to pay with their selfie. The company believes it would be more secure than the facial recognition technology.


After patenting one-click buying, Amazon has filed a new patent for ‘pay-by-selfie.’ With the new patent, Amazon will allow shoppers to take a video or photo and pay their shopping bills rather than keying the password. Amazon also has a separate patent that allows the device to authenticate users using a video or photo, but it doesn’t complete the transaction.

Filed back in October last year, the patent application states, “the entry of passwords on portable devices is not user friendly in many cases, as the small touchscreen or keyboard elements can be difficult to accurately select using a relatively large human finger, and 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.”

Talking about pay-by-selfie, Amazon says, unlike most facial recognition software, the selfie pay option would be safer as it cannot be fooled by holding the user’s picture in front of the camera. In order to pay-by-selfie, users will first need to confirm their identity by taking a selfie, and then click another one to confirm the first one. It may also ask the user to perform certain actions or gestures such as blink the eye, tilt the head or smile to further confirm physical presence of the user.

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Amazon is not the only one looking for simpler replacement for the account password. A year ago, Alibaba chairman Jack Ma has also demonstrated a similar technology. That’s not all; in a pilot project limited to 500 customers, MasterCard has also rolled out photo-based payment technology in the Europe. The technology allows users to pay using their face instead of typing the personal code.

  • Published Date: March 15, 2016 8:04 PM IST