Pay with a Group Selfie


The SESAR Lab, in collaboration with the team in EBTIC – Khalifa University in the United Arab Emirates leaded by Ernesto Damiani, will develop a software toolkit to enable the secure purchase of goods by taking a photo with a simple mobile phone. The procedure only requires both purchaser and merchant to carry a simple phone and to visually identify themselves and details of the purchase, for example with a card, that can be captured in a single photograph. They will build software that uses visual cryptography to divide the photograph into two parts or shares, one sent to each phone. When a network connection is encountered, the shares are transmitted to a third party who runs a point-of-service and reconstructs the image thereby validating the transaction before transferring payment. This method enables transactions between individuals in low network connectivity areas and by illiterate parties.


The project will be funded by the Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation as a Grand Challenges grant, and deployed and tested in the IMSP University of Porto Novo (Benin).