Why Biometric Fingerprint Sensors Are Replacing PINs

The rise of digital identity has meant that PINs are coming to the end of their lifespan. The traditional PIN method, whereby users entered a PIN to carry out transactions in stores or withdraw money from ATMs, is no longer capable of providing adequate security. It’s also unable to deliver the type of convenient, seamless experience that the modern consumer demands. With cardholders setting up more and more accounts, recalling PINs is becoming increasingly inconvenient. Users are also more susceptible to fraudulent misuse of cards protected by PINs.

A Rising Market

In recent years, the revenue from digital ID technologies has grown exponentially, and experts predict that the global value will surpass $53 billion [1] by 2026. This impressive return can be attributed to digital ID’s ability to resolve many of challenges caused by PINs. Digital ID enables financial institutions to accurately verify an individual or organization as well as provide a quick and convenient experience for users by alleviating concerns of password theft and the need to recall multiple passwords.

Digital ID is also able to help improve financial inclusivity. This makes it a better option than the PIN, which can prove challenging for those who struggle to remember information, such as those with Dementia or Alzheimer’s. Digital ID is also a great way to build confidence in the security of online transactions, particularly amongst groups who may not be familiar with the process, such as the elderly.

Recent digital ID projects in Nigeria and Europe have demonstrated the value of this new method. In Nigeria, inclusion of disabled citizens has been significantly improved by its Digital Identification For Development project [2], which saw people with disabilities have their biometrics captured so that they might securely access the digital economy. Meanwhile, a pan-European pilot project [3] will see people in six countries (Denmark, Norway, Latvia, Germany, Iceland, and Italy) have the chance to verify their ID, access public and private services, and store sensitive documents via a digital wallet. This new scheme should deliver a highly convenient and secure means of carrying out many everyday activities.

The Value of Fingerprint Sensors

Many concerns around digital ID, specifically facial recognition, are centered around data privacy as biometric data can be stored on clouds or servers. However, biometric smart cards are countering this fear. These cards feature a fingerprint sensor that allows users to authorize transactions with the tap of their finger. Sensitive biometric data, such as your fingerprint, are safely secured on the card and are not transferred to servers.  This means that customers enjoy a swift and seamless way of proving their identity and carrying out transactions, while eliminating the risk of data theft.

[1] https://www.nobidconsortium.com/press-release-14-december-2022/

[2] https://www.nobidconsortium.com/press-release-14-december-2022/