Payment Security – Biometrics vs PIN

Welcome to our 5-part blog series on why to Bin the Pin. In this second post, Henrik Knudtzon, Chief Financial Officer at IDEX Biometrics explains Payment Security – Biometrics vs PIN. Our previous post in Bin the Pin looked at how PINs are highly insecure when making payments.

How often do we come across alarming news flashes such as ATM hacks or identity theft? Quite frequently, isn’t it? In a world where millennial consumers are becoming wary about their payment security more than ever before, financial institutions are going the extra mile to leverage innovative security solutions. While most countries are using Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) for payment transactions, biometric identification is gradually gaining momentum as a foolproof security alternative. So which one will be the future of payment security? Let’s find out!

To PIN or not to PIN?

Using a PIN is considered to be a convenient security method by many consumers. You get access to all of your accounts or can make payments by just entering your confidential four-digit number. But are you sure your number is protected and has not been compromised? What will happen if you lose your card? Well, as alarming as it may sound, global card losses are expected to exceed $35 billion by 2020. Even in developed countries, card frauds are actively committed at cash machines through card-trapping devices, skimming, man-in-the-middle-attacks or by shoulder surfing. All of these cases validate how the use of PINs is highly vulnerable to the prying eyes of fraudsters and cybercriminals. Consequently, fighting the hackers has become one of the biggest challenges of financial institutions. So the question still stands, to PIN or not to PIN?

Biometrics – Boon or Bane?

Nowadays, people are becoming increasingly aware of the concept of biometric technology. A growing number of corporate offices and even government organisations are using biometric identification systems, such as fingerprint sensors or face recognition, for authenticating users. After a series of trials conducted by IDEX Biometrics, a leading biometric system provider, biometric authentication is a surefire alternative to ensure payment security. Payment card giants such as Mastercard are already leading the way with biometric on-card enrolment solutions. Biometric products are capable of providing encryption, tokenization, fraud detection and prevention for not only financial organisations but also other verticals such as retail, travel and hospitality, healthcare, education, telecommunications, media, and many other manufacturing and services sectors.

Both consumers and issuers are increasingly demanding biometric-enabled cards and IDEX is actively working on successful deployments in mass volume in a convenient and cost-effective way. Learn more about fingerprint sensor technology here.

Our previous post in Bin the Pin looked at How PINs are Highly Insecure when Making Payments.