Is Biometric Technology the Future of Digital Payments?

How Biometric Technology is Transforming Digital Payments?

With new cases of data breaches every day, security is becoming paramount, especially for money, transactions, and finance. Businesses across the globe use various security measures to eradicate any fraudulent activity. For instance, banks use biographical data and passcodes. Also, users are required to confirm their identity with signatures and PINs. Technology is continuously evolving and it’s rapidly digitizing the banking and commerce sector while making banking services fast and more convenient. Still, the number of fraud cases in digital payments is increasing

Authentication via biometric technology has been catching a lot of attention lately since it shows promising potential as a solution to this issue. It also supports digital shopping, by implementing biometrics digital payment in retail shops, and banks, by creating a biometric space for all the mobile banking services. Here’s how the biometric payment system can transforming the digital payments landscape. But first, let’s understand what this technology is all about.


What is Biometric Technology?

Biometric technology is a security measure using which we can verify the authenticity of the user. This technology harnesses the biometric features of the users to verify their identity. Biometric features include unique biological and physical characteristics of an individual that are compared against the authorized features stored in the database. Users are granted access to the device only if their biometric features match with that of an approved user as per the database.

It can also be used in the physical environment such as for controlling access points like gates and doors. Biometric authentication is expanding rapidly with time; and today, we use it in smartphones, consumer devices, and computers. Other areas where it’s used are airports, military bases, and entry ports of national borders.


How Can We Use Biometric Technology?

Biometric identification methods can be implemented via mobile devices; most smartphones have built-in biometric sensors for this. Alternatively, you can attach portable biometric hardware to it using a USB cable or Wi-Fi. Here is how biometric authentication can be used:

Iris Scan
It scans more than 200 unique points of data stored in the institution’s database. This is the reason why a majority of biometric experts consider iris scan as the most reliable way of authenticating a user’s identity.

Voice Recognition
It reads users’ vocal characteristics for distinguishing them among various individuals. The system creates a voice profile of the user as a combination of a number of data points that is compared with the data present in the database.

Facial Recognition
Facial recognition is used to authenticate users at ATMs along with those using mobile and digital banking. It depends on the user environment such as lighting or positioning of the face which makes it a less effective security option as compared to others.

Fingerprint Scan
Fingerprint scan, currently the most popular form of biometric authentication, is used globally on many mobile devices. It provides highly accurate and precise results.

Vein Pattern Authentication
This method relies on the unique pattern of veins in one’s palm, finger, or eye to identify or authenticate them. Since the vein patterns of every individual are as unique as their fingerprints, they can’t be replicated easily.


How Biometric Technology is Transforming Digital Payments?

Enhances Security
Banks try their best to ensure that their customer data is safe and protected with passwords and PINS. But customers are still at risk of fraud which is why companies like Microsoft and Intel are building biometric authentication systems as a part of their future products. User data can easily be protected from unauthorized entities by using biometric single sign-on (SSO), a password management technology.

Multiple Options and Ease of Operation
Biometric authentication offers a wide range of options such as fingerprint, voice, retina, heartbeat, facial recognition, etc that the users can adopt. Fingerprint and Touch ID sign-in for mobile banking apps can help you eliminate the need for remembering passwords.

Brings Multi-Factor Security Approach
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) refers to combining various modes of biometric authentication. For instance, fingerprint with either of retina, voice or facial recognition. MFA makes it hard for hackers to tamper with customer accounts.


Biometric Technology for Card Payments

Many financial service providers are offering easy mobile payments by biometrics such as fingerprint payments because it’s highly secure.

Samsung’s iris scanner, used by the banking sector, is also simplifying the process of user login.

Banks like Singapore’s OCBC and HSBC, use the face recognition payment method for online payments.


Future of Online/Card Payments

Currently, to make a payment using cards, you have to swipe it at a terminal which is slowly becoming obsolete in many parts of the world; chip-enabled cards are taking their place. Some chip cards even support NFC transactions in which you just have to tap your card on the terminal. It’s convenient and fast as compared to the other card payment methods but it’s not secure and doesn’t support any biometric device for NFC transactions.

In contrast, biometric payment cards are highly-secure and support tap-and-go payments since they are infused with biometric security. All you need to do is register your finger on the card’s sensor while making the purchase. Mastercard and Visa are already working on this technology that will allow consumers to make secure payments from their smartphones.


Endnote

Biometric technology is transforming the way we look at security. By using it, users will get top-notch security since it offers a wide array of applications in the financial and banking sector. This technology is growing constantly while providing us with more secure solutions. But how successful biometric will prove to be for digital payments, is the real question that only time will answer

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