As we all know, passwords can be a pain to type in, especially on a phone, and not especially secure, so Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) is getting creative.

The company recently filed a patent application for paying via selfie, which would let customers sign in with a picture or video instead of typing in their password.

The patent, which was spotted by Re/Code, would attempt to increase security by removing the password, which can be more easily stolen or forgotten. Using facial recognition, Amazon would make sure that customers are who they say they are before processing a transaction.

"As people are utilizing computing devices for an increasing variety of tasks, there is a corresponding need to improve the security available for these tasks," the patent explains. "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."

The patent adds that passwords can also be difficult to type in on mobile phones "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."

Amazon is not the first company to raise the idea of using selfies as a form of payment and security, but if it wins this patent, that could give it a big leg up.

Last year Alibaba (BABA - Get Report) founder and chief executive Jack Ma showed off a facial recognition tool called "Smile to Pay" that he said Ant Financial, Alibaba's financial arm, was testing for its digital wallet Alipay.

MasterCard (MA - Get Report) has also said it will be adding selfie authentication that will require users to take a photo in order to pay.

"What this is really about is a new level of biometric security," said Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. "By adding a second or third factor, in this case a face, the process becomes more safe."

But, Moorhead added, he's not confident that facial recognition is the most secure way to authenticate a user.

"I would prefer that Amazon put their energy into using better biometric security methods like fingerprint," he said. "Unless Amazon does their facial recognition very precisely, it could make the transaction less safe." 

Amazon declined to comment for this story.