US online retail giants Amazon Inc. was last week granted a US patent on using selfies which would enable customers to pay for their purchases.

According to the “selfie pay” patent application, Amazon said that the technology would improve customer security and is safer than facial recognition software.

“Such approaches provide user authentication without the user having to physically interact with a computing device, which can enable a user to access information by looking at a camera, performing a simple gesture such as a smile, or performing another such action,” Amazon said in a patent application filed late last year.

 “While many conventional approaches rely on password entry for user authentication, these passwords can be stolen or discovered by other persons who can impersonate the user for any of a variety of tasks,” Amazon’s application said.

According to BusinessTech, It argued that the latter software can often be spoofed by holding a picture of the user in front of the camera, as the resulting two-dimensional image can look substantially the same whether taken of the user or a picture of the user.

It’s also noted that Chinese Internet giants, Alibaba and Payment Firm, MasterCard are reported to be working on incorporating facial recognition in transaction confirmations.

MasterCard is already piloting a project that would see 500 customers using images of their face instead of typing in their own personal passwords when paying using their smartphone. BusinessTech reports.

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