How Biometric Cards can Revolutionize Customer Experience and Security

By Anthony Eaton, VP, Systems Engineering

It’s a technology-driven world and responsiveness plays a key role in keeping pace with the demands of millennial consumers. They are eyeing options that will cater to their requirements without compromising security. When reviewing the latest security trends in the consumer ecosystem, biometric identification has been successfully accepted as ensuring upmost security in the most convenient way possible.

Biometric recognition involves automated identification of physiological properties which are exclusive to an individual and are unlikely to change over time. The system has already been widely practised in regulatory corporate environments for over a decade. It is also rapidly replacing mobile phone security measures such as PINs and passwords and is trusted to be the most popular technique to protect the user’s data from theft.

Thinking beyond PINs

Based on successful global user engagement across multiple pilots, biometric recognition is expected to corner the payment card market in the years to come. This has paved the way for the financial services industry to think beyond PINs and evaluate the extensive potential of biometric-enabled payment systems. Payment card giant Mastercard has declared that “90% of users are willing to adopt biometrics in order to replace passwords.” Now the challenge is to fill in the gaps in terms of biometric adoption rates across multiple verticals worldwide.

The future of Biometric payment cards

Besides battling fraudulence, biometric recognition can elevate the customer experience since it rules out the hassles of remembering PINs or changing them time and time again to ensure credentials are not being hacked. It involves a simple and user-friendly on-card enrollment process where no applications or equipment is needed from the user’s end. It also makes the checkout process much more secure and streamlined resulting in a substantial reduction of abandoned transactions that often happen when a user either forgets or mistypes their PIN.

Why fingerprint authentication?

Now that we are already aware of the benefits of this leading-edge technology, it is also important to consider the flip side. Although biometric authentication eliminates the risk of traditional payment card fraud such as payment card skimming, chip switching trick, man-in-the-middle attack, shoulder surfing, and similar activities, is it safe to say that any type of biometric authentication is a fail safe measure? Sophisticated hackers might use photographs to simulate facial or iris recognition and use them during payment card authentication. This is where fingerprint recognition takes the lead because it is extremely difficult to obtain a unique imprint.

Fingerprint authentication payment systems have already been introduced and needless to say, customer engagement is encouraging. Increase in mobile payments and demand for more secure, quick, and easy-to-implement solutions are driving many verticals to head towards the biometric way. Leading biometric sensor technology provider, IDEX Biometrics, has collaborated with Mastercard as well as IDEMIA and other partners to develop a new biometric card that is attracting widespread interest in the payment card industry. Their sensor for contact-based cards have been implemented in customer trials across the world in multiple demographics including China and the Middle East, demonstrating strong and growing interest in biometric smart cards throughout the payment industry. Their cards are ready for cost-effective mass-market production to meet the increasing customer interest globally. Learn more about their products here.

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