Using biometrics in payment

Using biometrics in payment

Biometric technology is rapidly becoming a part of everyday life for many people around the world. Thanks to the combination with mobile devices, numerous of us are interacting with some form of biometric authentication daily.

According to a 2017 Visa survey, two thirds (65%) of customers reported that they are at least friendly with biometrics. With this significant uptake in familiarity and use, it’s perhaps no wonder to see a growth in the number of transactions that are now authenticated working biometric technology. It indicates not only a shift in user adoption of biometric authentication but also rapid improvements in the technology being used to offer these opportunities for biometrically authenticated payments.

Top 4 reasons to authenticate payments using biometrics

  • Ease of use – don’t require to remember various PINs and passwords.
  • Security – a unique and personal way of identifying individuals.
  • Speed – while it may be fairly imperceptible, authenticating using a biometric identifier is quicker and easier than entering a pin or password. This benefits both the consumer as well as businesses, with the path to conversion made much more straightforward by the adoption of biometric payment authentication.
  • Pay anywhere – as more and more retail outlets go to a contactless payment type, the uptake of consumers choosing to pay using Apple and Google Pay on their mobile devices, authenticating with biometrics, means that you can pay anywhere, anytime.

Benefits of biometric authentication for payments

Consumers are starting to see many benefits of using biometrics as a method of authentication. The obvious one, which is what the majority of people use on mobile devices, is the removal of the need to remember a password or PIN to access your device. This, however, also sounds true for payment authentication. Being able to authorize your Google Pay or Apple Pay using biometric authentication (fingerprint or facial recognition) means that the payment method is often much faster when shopping online.

In the Visa survey, clients also felt that biometric authentication was more secure than a password or PIN. Biometric authentication is unique to the person. It cannot be easily replicated or stolen, and users felt it was a unique way of verifying their identity.

The future of biometric and payment authentication

There is no suspicion that biometric authentication for payments is the way the world is heading. While the USA and Europe are often seen as innovators, it’s actually India who conducts the way when it comes to biometric confirmation for payments. They currently have over 1 billion consumers who have installed a digital identity with the government. Fingerprint and iris recognition captures are kept on file along with an image, and this is then used for the set of social profit payments.

Visa is also rolling out new payment cards through Mountain America Credit Union and Bank of Cyprus which will feature an on-card biometric sensor for contactless payments. The card will test the use of fingerprint recognition as an option to PIN to authenticate the cardholder during a transaction. The pilot is part of Visa’s program to promote the growing demand for biometric technology in the payment category under the Visa Ready for Biometrics program.

A recent blog post by NEC New Zealand analyzed the future of facial recognition and what this might look like in 2020. One such field is the use of facial recognition for total contactless payment. Your credit card details will be connected with your facial recognition profile, and payment will be made easily by presenting your face. It is already under development in Taiwan and Japan at 7Eleven stores who are running out staffless stores where customers can do everything from entering the store to making a payment using their facial recognition profile.

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