Biometric Payment, a Future Already Here: Challenges, Opportunities and Risks
You may have already heard about it in an article or seen an example of it in a movie, but biometric payment is no longer a fiction and is about to change our daily lives very soon.
What is Biometric Payment?
That’s actually a good question. Many people have already heard of it and can even give some examples. But what defines biometric payment? It brings together different techniques that allow the recognition and identification of a person thanks to their physical and biological characteristics.
In simple terms, it is a payment method that allows you to make a purchase by recognizing your fingerprints, for example. When you put it that way, it may sound a bit crazy. And yet, it’s a reality.
In addition to fingerprint recognition, there are other ways to identify a person. This can be facial recognition, iris analysis, and voice recognition, or even the way you walk.
But before you can use your fingerprints or anything else to make a purchase, you must first set up the biometric data, such as registering your so-called fingerprints or scanning your iris. This is a very simple step, very fast and many have already done it.
Indeed, today many of us use our fingerprints or even our face to unlock our smartphones. And so, when you make a payment with your smartphone and you have to identify yourself on it using your fingerprint, you have in a way made a biometric payment.
This example is there to show that these gestures are already a part of our daily lives. All that’s left is for technology to fully embrace this payment method. And you may be surprised to know that this technology has already started to be installed at your merchants.
Where Do We Stand on Biometric Payment?
Many consumers have already made some semblance of biometric payment via smartphone payment. But one of the next steps that is already being rolled out is to use your fingerprints to pay by card. In other words, when you use your bank card, the code you normally have to enter will be replaced by you.
Payment terminals can be equipped with a fingerprint reader, but right now, with the health crisis and barrier gestures, some people will surely be reluctant to touch a device already used by others.
Don’t worry, the alternative solution already exists. Instead of having the fingerprint reader on the payment terminal, the reader would be directly integrated into the card. Banks are currently working on marketing cards using this technology, and they should arrive on the market very quickly.
Another technology being deployed is facial recognition. In Moscow, supermarkets have already started to be equipped. Here, you don’t even need to show your bank card, you just have to face a camera to be identified. For the moment still in test phase, this device should be extended to 3000 stores. In China, this technology is already widely used.
Biometric Payment, the New El Dorado?
With such a technology, consumers will be able to make payments faster but also more securely. Indeed, a face or a fingerprint is much more difficult to steal than a 4-digit code.
Security is one of the major arguments of biometric payments. But there is no such thing as zero risk and it is important to offer a high level of security. And this should not only concern the transactions carried out but also the data recorded.
Indeed, as said before, to access the biometric payment, you must register your fingerprints, your face, or others. Thus, the banks or companies that collect this data will have to prove that it is properly protected.
For both the consumer and the merchant, the security and protection of biometric data is a major concern. That’s why in France, merchants wishing to offer biometric payment must obtain an authorization from the CNIL, the National Commission on Informatics and Liberty.
The desire to strengthen the security of payment transactions must be accompanied by an important level of data security. This represents a double challenge that companies must take into account.
Today, Market Pay already ensures that it complies with payment security standards, in particular with the PCI DSS, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.
In the future, we will offer more and more varied and innovative solutions to provide merchants with better services for the in-store and digital channels.
Habits will change and evolve, and new needs will appear. This is a field full of challenges and opportunities that Market Pay will not hesitate to embrace in order to accompany the deployment of new solutions by being as close as possible to the merchants.