The Shape of Today’s Payment Landscape

In recent years, there has been an undeniable evolution in the payments industry. The pandemic significantly accelerated the use of digital payments and open banking. Payment methods such as digital wallets, Real-Time Payments (RTP), Electronic Transfer of Money (ETF), and Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) have become popularised. Meanwhile, smart card payment systems have seen its own share of innovation to keep up with consumer expectations.

As a result, biometric smart cards are growing in adoption. The 2021 figures indicate that this global market had achieved a value of $74.4 million [1]. Concurrently, an estimated 90 million payment locations around the world are now set up for biometric smart cards, highlighting the importance of this technology.

The Need for Security Assurance

Why are biometric smart cards becoming so ubiquitous? There is a growing public awareness of data security. Today’s consumers understand that their personal data is valuable. Whether shopping, making online payments, or in instances of general identity verification, consumers are mindful of ensuring their information is protected.

Biometric smart cards allow users to authenticate uncapped transactions with their personal fingerprint. Because their fingerprint image is encrypted, it cannot be hacked or manipulated. Their personal data is also saved securely on the card, rather than clouds or servers. Due to these factors, biometric smart cards can meet the public’s high data security demands. Moreover, biometric smart cards have built-in ‘anti-spoofing’ technology, meaning that only the living fingertip of the authorized user will be accepted for verification purposes.

Blockchain and Biometrics

The innovations in the financial sector are by no means limited to new smart card payment systems. Blockchain is another innovation that has stirred controversy and intrigue. Combining biometrics with blockchain has been highly transformative in the industry, countering consumer concerns with robust security measures.

There are other areas where the combination of biometrics and blockchain can be especially transformative. Blockchain, for example, can be used to help realize benefits such as accountability, immutability, and increased access for previously under-banked demographics, helping to improve financial inclusion. And with many countries around the world exploring the possibility of launching their own digital currencies, the need to have a safe and workable technological infrastructure for all customers is paramount.

The integration of biometrics with cold wallets and digital currency access that is not reliant on an internet connection allows these solutions to be deployed with greater safety and security. By including biometric authentication, the risks of fraud are greatly reduced, helping to build consumer confidence in a new approach to payments.