Do you know much about biometrics in payment systems? There’s a good chance you’ve heard of them, or at least heard of technologies such as Apple Pay that rely on them.
And it’s likely that you’ll be hearing a great deal more about them in the future too. This technology is expected to develop fast.
But what does that mean for businesses like yours? Well everyone’s an individual case, but certainly it will be worth keeping an eye out as things progress.
To put it simply, the way biometrics are being used in payments is as an additional authentication measure. It’s another way for consumers to say they are who they say they are.
That’s a great thing for merchants, because it reduces the likelihood that the transaction is a fraudulent one . And it’s great for consumers because it can give them a more convenient way to pay.
What’s going on?
Currently consumers using technologies such as Apple Pay are asked to identify themselves by a fingerprint scan if they want to make in-app mobile payments. They do the same to make high-value contactless payments in stores.
The way it works behind the scenes offers even more protection to merchants. Card data is replaced by ‘tokens’ – a numerical sequence that bears no relation to the actual card data. That means merchants don’t receive any identifiable card data, and therefore have none of it to steal if hacked.
Fingerprints are currently the biometrics of choice, and Barclays already offers voice recognition security to some clients. But they are likely to be just the beginning.
Retina scans are being talked about, and Amazon has already filed a patent for ‘pay by selfie’ where transactions are completed using facial recognition technology on a mobile payment app. And it’s that device that is really unlocking the potential.
There are two major reasons for that. Firstly, the number of e-commerce transactions that are made via mobile are rapidly increasing. Secondly, when you have a tool like a smartphone – which has a camera, computer and fingerprint scanner all built in – things will naturally find a home there first.
But for a small merchant, it’s likely to be a watching brief for now where these very new technologies are concerned. Those companies big enough to create a standard can push hard to make it happen, but it’s at the point when everyone can get access to the tech that smaller merchants should go for it.
Wait for the technology to be proven, wait for consumer demand to be there, but make sure you’re ready for that demand. That means asking your payment providers how ready they are for this new security landscape that’s coming down the line. It won’t be long now.
Speak to us today to find out how we can help your business – 0800 0466814*.
Please note that the views expressed in this article are personal opinions. Barclaycard cannot accept any responsibility or liability for reliance by any person on this article or any of the information set out in it.
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