Fingerprint Cards (FPC) is once again discussing the commercial prospects for biometric payment cards. This time, however, the company is placing the focus on aesthetics rather than security. In that regard, FPC argues that financial institutions take card design for granted, even though the look of a card will often determine its popularity with consumers.
The logic behind that claim is relatively straightforward. Customers are more likely to embrace a product that looks like something they’d actually want to use. A biometric card with a sleek, modern look can make the new technology feel more exciting, and distinguishes it from a previous generation of cards with less robust security features.
Design also has a functional purpose with regards to the user experience. Customers need to be able to figure out how to register their fingerprint when they get their card, and how to use their card when making payments. An unintuitive design could frustrate consumers, which could in turn lead them to abandon the technology.
It’s worth noting that FPC does have some evidence to back up its claims. In a recent FPC survey, 30 percent of consumers indicated that design is an important consideration when choosing a card, yet only 15 percent of banks were making design a major priority. By the same token, nearly half of the respondents were worried about the feel of a card, especially when it comes to knowing where to place a finger. Banks, on the other hand, were far less concerned with usability, with only one-third expressing the same level of interest in finger placement.
That trend held for people in virtually every age group and geographic location. Younger consumers were more likely to prioritize design, but 25 percent of those over 50 still considered it to be a significant factor for a card.
With that in mind, FPC suggested that card providers will need to overcome those design hurdles to advance the mass commercialization of biometric cards. The company indicated that its own sensors were designed to have a modern shape and form factor.
December 3, 2020 – by Eric Weiss