The Need for Biometric Cards for a Secure Shopping Experience

Welcome to our 3-part blog series on biometrics and the shopping experience. In this first post, Brian Roberts, Vice President of Business Development and Product Management at IDEX Biometrics, reviews the need for biometric cards for a secure shopping experience.

The shifting landscape in the shopping preferences of millennials has brought about a change in payment systems. Many consumers can easily make payments through their mobile wallets or in brick and mortar stores using their credit or debit cards. However, the change in shopping trends has made payments cards more vulnerable to the mousetraps of scammers who are coming up with new schemes to embezzle money from the users.

So what is a potential solution to this critical problem? Technology innovators have come up with an effective counter-measure using biometric authentication to contravene the malpractices of high-profile hackers. Biometric technology using fingerprint sensors have already hit the market and is being seamlessly integrated into payment cards to validate the user’s identity. This is considered to be a brilliant alternative to PINs to curb the use of hacker-prone four-digit PINs since it requires the user’s physical fingerprint which is unique to the individual and could not be simulated.

What are biometric payment cards?

Biometric payment cards provide a highly optimized delivery of a fingerprint template and matching algorithms resulting in failsafe security strength. Payment card giants including Mastercard have already trialed the use of off-chip sensor technology to provide more customization options in sensor form factors to deliver excellent biometric performance at competitive cost points. Trials have been conducted in various countries and are gaining traction globally. This is a revolutionary attempt to usher in a cashless milieu and deliver highly secured customer experience.

Why will shoppers love it?

Be it in their offices or on mobile phones, consumers are already aware of the value of fingerprint sensor-enabled technology. However, most of the regular shoppers, especially in developing countries are yet to encounter the power of biometric-enabled payment cards. These cards conveniently cater to any type of purchase to speed up the transaction process. So next time they go to fuel up their vehicle or hang out with their friends and family at a restaurant, they no longer need to carry cash and they know their card transaction will be safe and secure.

How it works

It is as simple as pressing their finger on a sensor. Leading off-chip sensor technology provider, IDEX Biometrics leverages highly optimized image delivery and matching algorithms to deliver high-end security and ease-of-use. It is an instant process where the users can enroll themselves by placing their finger on the sensor through a small device that will be sent to them via mail. The card will have a credit limit for tap-and-go transactions where the users will be instantly notified when they are about to reach their limit.

We can safely conclude that we are heading towards a cashless society with the aid of fingerprint sensor technology to ensure every transaction we make brings peace of mind.

Explore more about off-chip sensing solutions here.