How Biometric Authentication Champions Inclusivity in Payments

During our blog series on the topic of financial inclusion, we have already explored how the challenge of the financial inclusion gap can be overcome through a number of new solutions, improving financial inclusivity for all.

Biometric Authentication for Inclusivity

By integrating a fingerprint sensor into a contactless payment card, biometrics provides an effective means of ensuring financial inclusion for a wide variety of vulnerable demographics. This approach can enable the unbanked to access financial resources, and help those with visual or cognitive impairements navigate modern payment methods. South America has already turned to biometrics to effectively authenticate the identities of previously unbanked people wishing to open bank accounts and in India pension fraud has decreased by 47% since bypassing the need for prior credit ratings.

The latest biometric technology actually works to support inclusion in more than one way. Biometric smart cards feature a fingerprint sensor. Once users register their fingeprint on their card, their biometric data is encrypted and securely stored on the card. They can then make uncapped contactless transactions, using their fingerprint to securely and conveniently authenticate payments. This bypasses any sensory barriers for those who are visually impaired, like manually entering a PIN or risking your code being overseen and stolen. It also helps those with Alzheimer’s or dementia make payments independently and with peace of mind, forgoing the need to remember PINs.

The Safe Way To Make Transactions

Thanks to the nature of biometric authentication technology, there are significantly reduced concerns about data security or misuse of the card. As each of us has unique biometric markers, choosing a payment card with a fingerprint sensor built in is an ideal way for users to feel confident that their card will not be open to fraudulent use by anybody else. And, as previously explained, the card safely secures the user’s data on the chip, rather than leaving it open to potential attack by hackers targeting servers or clouds.

In addition to these significant security benefits, the biometric payment card also delivers a highly convenient and simple way for everyone in society to carry out transactions. Those with learning difficulties or memory issues don’t need to worry about remembering a password or PIN. With a biometric smart payment card, the user’s fingerprint becomes their password. This is particularly useful as new studies have found that users, on average, have to remember 100 passwords across various cards and online accounts, for various purposes.

A Technology with Many Benefits

Smart payment cards can clearly be a highly effective means by which to improve financial inclusivity for all, as well as provide other impressive benefits, such as superior data security and exceptional ease of use. The biometric card sector is predicted to grow in value to $87.4 billion by 2028 [1], suggesting that this powerful technology will soon be prevalent in tackling the challenges of financial inclusion globally.