Amazon eyes visual payments, builds out hubs

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Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is all about making it easier to make and receive purchases, and now the retailer is looking into ways to make the checkout process easier. A new patent application shows how the retailer could enable payments through a selfie.

Shoppers already have a one-click payment option on Amazon, but concerns over security and the desire to limit the number of clicks in the buying process are dovetailing—it may just be time for a new kind of visual verification.

Amazon has filed a patent to authenticate an account with a picture or video within an application. Now that effort could extend to using visual verification to make a payment, bypassing the need for a password.

The technology could be used with a mobile device or computer and "can prompt the user to perform certain actions, motions or gestures, such as to smile, blink, or tilt his or her head," according to PYMTS.com.

Visual verification isn't just a new, quicker way to pay, but one designed to appeal to younger, selfie-obsessed shoppers.

It's not the the first time a pay-by-selfie plan has been floated, but Amazon is certainly the largest retailer to look into the technology. MasterCard rolled out its "selfie pay" last fall, but the initial push will be in the U.K., where mobile adoption trends higher than in the United States.

For more:
-See the Re/code article
-See this PYMNTS.com story

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