Traditional Payment Cards are Under Pressure

Welcome to the first post in our series on Top of Wallet and Brand Differentiation. In this post, Art Stewart, Global Head of Sales & Marketing, at IDEX Biometrics, talks about how biometric payment cards can provide brand differentiation.

Traditional payment card issuers are under pressure. Once secure and established, they are now challenged on all sides. The digital transformation of our world lets small, audacious brands set up and trade with ease. With mere clicks they fill the screen of any smartphone or monitor, tempting consumers with innovative digital services.

Seamless digital banking experiences

How can established banks and other financial institutions, burdened by long-established and cumbersome processes compete with newer challenger banks, using technology adeptly to provide seamless digital banking experiences?

The digital revolution — for it is no less than that — forces everyone to innovate. Innovation is where the battles for reputation and market share are now won and lost. And with card payments still  accounting for a large proportion of transactions, the tailoring and personalization of the payment experience is the main battleground.

Card payments are the chief interaction that consumers have with their issuer’s brand. They are key to daily life and consumers expect the same personalized service across all payment experiences, from instore to online and through to smartphone applications.

Integrating biometric authentication into payment cards

But customers demand something else from card providers, too. Security. And that is why integrating biometric authentication into payment cards is an effective brand differentiator for card issuers. Not only is fingerprint technology personalized by definition, but when coupled with an established financial brand, it can make a winning combination.

Card fraud is a huge problem. Nilson reports that in 2019, payment card fraud losses reached $28.65 billion worldwide, up 2.9% from $27.85 billion in 2018. ATM fraud equaled 5.4% of all card fraud losses worldwide while Card-not-present accounted for 65.0% of all losses to fraud.1

Aside from its value to branding, the use of fingerprints to authenticate payment card transactions is vital to fighting crime. The unique and un-shareable nature of fingerprints makes them ideal for combating fraud. With fingerprint data securely stored on the payment card, there is no central database for cybercriminals to steal or hack them from. This, in turn, renders a biometric payment card completely useless to anyone but the owner.

1 Nilson Report December 2020