Biometrics Optimizing Card-On-File Payment

A new blog post on the Visa Europe website authored by the company’s director of new payment propositions, Jonathan Vaux, names biometrics as one of the contributing factors in what looks like a rise of card-on-file payment popularity.

The entry is in response to what Vaux recognizes as an increasing number of announcements from tech players involving identity authentication services and new ways to upload card details to the cloud.

“Storing card details in the cloud (often referred to as ‘card-on-file’) is not a new technology of course – it’s a service that’s been around and in use for a number of years,” writes Vaux. “What’s really interesting about these announcements is that any developer can now take advantage of these capabilities and integrate them into their own applications.”

Primarily, the drive behind this card-on-file trend, as with most kinds of next generation payment, is convenience. In terms of online payment particularly, entering a full card account number, associated password, security code and CAPTCHA human presence detection is frustrating at best, adding layers of inhibiting friction to the payment process.

According to Vaux, “retailers and service providers are experimenting with ways to store payment card details securely in the cloud, so that they can be accessed easily and quickly without the need to re-enter card details each time consumers make a purchase.”

Two innovations that are enabling this increase in card-on-file are card scan technology and biometrics. The former allows the card in question to be photographed instead of requiring manual account entry. Biometric technology, according to Vaux, adds further convenience.

He writes: “Biometric authentication – such as using your fingerprint to identify yourself – offers a further optimisation of the consumer payment experience on smart devices, providing an easy, quick and secure mechanism to access the card details stored within an app and initiate payment.”

The entry ends with a call to action, encouraging the development of new standards, processes and capabilities aimed at enabling these technologies.

Vaux’s full blog post is available on Visa Europe’s official website. The topic is fitting with a recent feature published on findBIOMETRICS examining how biometric technology is bringing further accessibility and convenience to the end user banking experience.

July 10, 2014 – by Peter B. Counter