Mobile Payments Must Embrace Multimodal Biometrics

Mobile payments need to embrace biometrics in order to really catch fire in the mass market, according to a new report from Lux Research. Entitled “Securing Mobile Payments with Biometric Authentication”, the report argues that biometric technologies can improve both security and the user experience in significant ways for mPayment platforms.

Multimodal Biometrics is Key to mPayment Success: Lux ResearchWhile the leading mPayment platforms, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, currently use biometric authentication for transactions in the form of fingerprint scanning, Lux Research suggests in a synopsis that palm vein sensors “would be optimal for mobile purchases… but are prohibitively expensive.” Iris scanning, meanwhile, is highlighted as the ideal modality for both website and app purchases and for SMS-based payments, but again struggles with high costs. Still, given that a major name like Microsoft has gone to the trouble of integrating infrared iris scanning into its own mobile devices, it seems possible that iris scanning could become an important biometric authentication modality in the future.

The future is murky, of course. Lux Research Associate Tiffany Huang said it’s “hard to see one biometric usage winning in the medium- to far-term,” but stressed that companies ought to “consider multimodal biometric platforms to stay in the game.” While the major platforms use single-modality frameworks now, their attitudes could change going forward.

(Originally posted on Mobile ID World)