BMO to Let Corporate Customers Pay by ‘Selfie’

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BMO Financial Group is looking to bring a recent consumer-facing innovation to its corporate customers.

The Toronto-based bank announced Wednesday it is testing a new biometrics program that allows cardholders to make purchases online by scanning their fingerprints or snapping a “selfie” to validate their identities. Once verified, the customers then return to the merchant site to complete the online purchase.

BMO, in conjunction with MasterCard, has launched the biometric authentication program in Canada and the U.S., where it owns BMO Harris Bank in Chicago.

The program will begin with corporate cards issued to BMO employees. It is starting internally so it can work out problems, develop better protection against potential fraud and minimize the need for customer service inquiries, the company said in a press release. It is expecting to make the technology available to customers more broadly beginning this summer.

BMO says it is the first corporate card issuer to test secure digital payments with facial recognition. However, several other institutions have incorporated the biometric tool for their retail clients. For instance, MasterCard and First Tech Federal Credit Union in Palo Alto, Calif., began testing Selfie Pay in August 2015. Also last year, USAA began allowing members to authenticate themselves on the mobile app via facial recognition.

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