In its latest blog post, Swedish biometric authentication specialist Fingerprint Cards took a look back at the growth of biometric technology over the past several months, its current trends, and where it expects to see it grow in the future.
FPC notes the role biometric technology has played in helping people, communities, and workplaces adapt to and navigate their way around the challenges that 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought. Hygienic in-store payments and access control solutions, temperature screening, and remote authentication services have allowed a number of businesses around the world to safely reopen during a deadly pandemic, and biometrics have been an integral part in each of these areas.
On the hygienic payments front, FPC shines the spotlight on the highly-anticipated new biometric payment cards that are getting closer to widespread commercial adoption.
“As we enter 2021, biometric payment cards are no longer “on the horizon” – they’re actually here, with major commercial rollouts from French banks BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole underway,” writes the post’s author, Fingerprint Cards CEO Christian Fredrikson. “Momentum has been gathering steadily for a few years, but it has undoubtedly gained additional traction as a truly touchless, hygienic and secure way to pay amid the ongoing worldwide public health measures.”
The author describes a growing public concern over the spread of germs when using PIN pads for payment that is close to the same concerns regarding the use of cash. Though traditional credit and debit cards do offer a contactless option (‘tap to pay’), there is a limit to the size of the transaction that can be completed without some sort of authentication, while many European countries require authorization after every fifth use of the contactless option.
As an alternative, biometric payment cards enable constant authentication between the customer and their card via the card’s fingerprint sensor, allowing for any spending caps to be lifted, which in turn allows for a more hygienic and frictionless experience for customers.
FPC also points out that new research reveals over half of consumers surveyed would be willing to switch financial institutions in order to be able to use a biometric payment card.
Aside from the payments sector, FPC was encouraged by the growth of the mobile biometrics market and in particular the growth in popularity of smartphones featuring some form of biometric authentication.
“Biometrics is now consumers’ preferred method to authenticate on mobile,” writes Fredrikson. “Recently we celebrated that our own sensors have been integrated in 500 mobile device models globally, in nine out of the top ten smartphone OEM brands.”
Looking ahead to 2021, FPC is placing greater emphasis on remote workplace security, which includes an expansion of available biometric access solutions in smart home and smart workplace environments.
“While boosting workplace and remote working security has been a long-standing priority for many organizations, the last year has certainly increased the desire for more secure and convenient access – both physical and logical,” notes Fredrikson. “Biometric access cards, with authentication on the card, are one example that improves security, convenience and hygiene for entry to shared workspaces.”
February 2, 2021 – by Tony Bitzionis