Biometric Payments – The Hygienic and Secure Way to Shop

Welcome to the third and final post in our series on cashless after COVID-19. In this post, Art Stewart, Global Head of Sales & Marketing, IDEX Biometrics, discusses biometric payments and the best way to stay secure and sanitized.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the world in many ways and perhaps one of the most profound is our feeling of security. The past year was a year where countries all over the world were locked down, travel was advised against and things that we had previously taken for granted, like going to the shops or meeting friends for a drink, suddenly seemed to pose risks to our health. This was especially true of shopping and the effects of the pandemic are likely to effect consumer behaviour for many years to come.

Restoring Consumer Confidence

Retailers have a difficult time ahead of them, but one of the things that will be integral to their recovery is the restoration of consumer confidence. Shoppers are understandably nervous about the retail environment and this shift in mentality is likely to remain for some time. Reassuring customers that they are safe and not risking their health by going shopping is key. Part of this new focus on a safe environment will be offering touch-free payment alternatives.

Contactless payment cards are used regularly by consumers and the public are much more comfortable with contactless since the start of the pandemic. The spending limits on these smart cards have been increased in response to demand caused by COVID-19. However, while smart cards offer a more hygienic way to shop, it is the spending limits on these cards that mean they are not the whole solution.

Biometric Payment Cards

The introduction of fingerprint sensors into touch-free payments adds the missing level of security that will eliminate the misuse of these cards. Biometric payment cards offer a combination of hygiene, convenience, and security. When purchasing goods with a biometric smart card, the user only needs to touch the sensor on their card while holding it above the terminal for a touch-free payment – just like they do today. Each individual is linked to the payment card in a secure way that eliminates the security issues around fraud and theft. And, of course, with no need to touch anything other than the payment card, this is a more sanitary way to shop.

Protecting your Identity

The other main benefit of biometric authentication is that it uses the fingerprint of the individual user for identification. This information is encrypted within the card and therefore cannot be replicated or stolen from a central server. In the new post-COVID world, biometric payment cards will help restore consumers’ confidence on the issue of both security and health and restore a much-needed sense of comfort within the retail environment.

The previous post in our series on cashless after COVID-19 looked at how to minimize the pandemic spread with touch-free payments.