In less than five years consumers have gone from no-bio to full-bio when it comes to ways to pay for goods and services. The advent of the mobile wallet, signaled by the launch of Apple Pay in 2014, introduced average users to the secure and convenient concept of biometrics payments, and since then the options have multiplied, proliferated, and transformed the FinTech space.
Here are four ways to pay with biometrics, some common, others novel, all secure and convenient:
The mobile wallet started it all. While biometrics had been available at some future-gazing points of sale prior to 2014, they were considered a novelty until the power of fingerprint-secured payments was put into the hands of iPhone owners the world over. Apple Pay, thanks to its initial support from major global payment networks proved that the key to getting consumers to pay with phones was to add the security and convenience of biometrics, NFC, and tokenization.
In the years that followed, Samsung and Google brought their own innovations to the table, the latter greatly expanding the usability of biometric mobile wallets thanks to its use of MST technology which allowed for mobile wallet payments at older mag-stripe readers. The modalities expanded too, as multimodal biometrics became commonplace on smartphones. Now, biometric payments via mobile wallet can be authenticated with fingerprints, irises, faces, and more.
Your AI Assistant
Voice and speech biometrics are a key aspect of the artificial intelligence assistants driving the consumer adoption of Internet of Things. Siri, Alexa, Bixby, Cortana – the list goes on. And just like the smartphone fingerprint sensor, the application set to drive mass adoption is convenient and secure payments.
Alexa and Siri are already leading the way in this regard, with voice-enabled online shopping and bill payment now counted among their offerings. Using the contactless convenience of speech command, buying anything from groceries, to alcohol, to medicine is as easy as saying what you want, and voice authentication is ensuring only you can spend your money by speaking,
In much the same vein of convenience as shopping via AI assistant, naked payments are growing in popularity around the globe. The concept is simple: if you can prove who you are, you should be able to make a payment, regardless of the technology you are carrying in your pocket. Naked payments allow you to walk into a supporting retail location, submit to a biometric scan, and walk out with the goods you’ve paid for. No wallets. No phone. Just biometrics.
In China, a high end KFC restaurant allows for naked payments via facial recognition, while a supermarket in the UK is allowing shoppers to pay with just their fingers. In India, thanks to the country’s massive national biometric ID program, naked payments have been enabled en mass thanks to an inversion of the mobile wallet concept. Aadhaar Pay allows merchants with supported mobile devices to scan the biometrics of customers in order to authorize payments from connected accounts.
Biometric Credit Cards
2017 saw the advent of the biometric credit card reach an exciting high, with Mastercard successfully trialing fingerprint-protected plastic payments in regions across the globe, fingerprint sensor manufacturers making major deals with card makers, and banks committing to rolling out these super-powered payment cards. The biometric credit card is set to be the next frontier for fingerprint sensors, and with its arrival we stand to see a major blow in the war against PINs and passwords.
Set for wide releases in 2018, biometric credit cards are exactly what they sound like: standard credit cards with embedded biometric security. The technology required for such a feat is innovative. Flexible, small, accurate, and low power fingerprint sensors need to also be fast in order to justify their existence in a crowded payments arena. In terms of the consumer biometrics industry as a whole, the biometric credit card stands to popularize strong authentication among the crowd who still don’t pay with their phones.
Stay posted to FindBiometrics throughout November as we continue to bring you featured content for Financial Biometrics Month.
November 16, 2017 – by Peter B. Counter