I have always been amazed at the billion ways a mouth, nose and two eyes can appear on the canvas of a face. Surely, we all have an identical face to ours lurking somewhere in the world. The facial recognition algorithm that companies are developing for marketing and security purposes is growing like a teenager on steroids due to Facebook’s 1.65 billion users uploading and tagging pictures. It’s implication for marketing, authentication, and security in the retail world is staggering at best, especially for online sales which are vulnerable to fraud.

We are living in the narcissist age of dynamic pictures! We love the selfies – with friends, by ourselves, near absurd backgrounds, eating weird food, doing tricks, making faces, looking cool, feeling disgusted, and anything that might draw attention to ourselves. It’s alarming to think that Facebook’s facial recognition capabilities have an 98% accuracy ratio while the FBI reports an 85% rate. Again the power of social media outmaneuvers one of the strongest surveillance departments in the world. Let’s not forget the massive data input from Google, Snapchat, Pinterest, and LinkedIn which helps refine facial recognition towards perfection.

Today’s consumers want exposure yet also personalization, sort of an oxy-moron, but one that facial recognition will feed into. As online fraud increases, facial recognition will be touted as the next revolutionary step in security and authentication, however, retailers will use it to target and track shoppers with incentives that fit their shopping profiles.

MasterCard now has an Identity Check mobile app for online purchases using a selfie or fingerprint for payment identification. This is just the beginning of the facial recognition revolution in digital marketing and identity authentication for consumers. The advantages of paying with a selfie or fingerprint are in its simplicity and validity compared to the excessive security processes that are causing many online shoppers to abandon their purchase at the online register. In addition, security measures used by financial institutions in 2015 mistakenly declined $118B in legitimate transactions, a huge amount of lost sales, due to inaccurate information and poor reporting.

Right now in San Francisco, some McDonalds and Papa John’s stores are piloting facial recognition cameras and systems that scan your face, compare it with your profile picture’s biometrics to authenticate your identity, before approving the sale. Word on the technology street predicts the next Apple iPhone 7, due next month, will have a feature that identifies our mugs.

It is predicted that by 2020, the value of the facial recognition market will reach $6 billion, and continue to grow exponentially, until a better recognition feature comes along, probably the dreaded-imbedded microchip into the body. Does it make you uneasy that financial institutions, retailers, and God knows who else, will have access to our photos and fingerprints? Oh, what shoppers are willing to sacrifice in the name of buying the hot brands.

Cash Flow Solutions will be monitoring the results of the MasterCard payment app using facial recognition and fingerprints. It will have to be very convenient and easy to use for shoppers to change their behavior and adopt a new payment model. Good ol’ Apple Pay looked so promising on the drawing board. A face like Helen of Troy launched a thousand ships, maybe someday your face can pay for thousands of sales.