Forget pins and passwords, Amazon wants you to pay with selfies

The firm is looking to patent selfie-pay

Amazon has filed a patent application to allow users to pay for items with a selfie. They say that this would improve online personal security and allow users to carry out more tasks online.

The application states: "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. Further, the entry of these 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."

The “selfie-pay” option is thought to be safe than facial recognition software as it can be fooled by placing an image in front of the camera.

The user would need to take two images to confirm their identity. The second image is need to confirm the person in the selfie is in the proximity of the computing device. This could include smiling, blinking or tilting their head.

This is not the first time selfies have been trialled as an authentication method. MasterCard test a technology which would allow customers to use a selfie image rather than entering a password.