Biometrics in the Payments Industry (BI Business Intelligence)
Passwords and PINs are being rendered irrelevant thanks to rising digital fraud, growing concern about data privacy, and difficulty remembering an endless stream of letters and numbers. That’s been leading both software and hardware firms to explore new methods of verifying user identity. One such method is biometrics — unique biological measurements that can be digitized and turned into a trackable record.
These methods, which include fingerprint scanners, voice verification, or retina and vein scans, are steadily gaining popularity for unlocking smartphones or accessing sensitive apps — BI Intelligence forecasts that by 2021, 99% of US smartphones will be biometrics-enabled. But they’re also becoming increasingly popular as a way to verify payments, because they keep consumer data secure without inconveniencing consumers.
But as these methods are implemented, firms face unique security challenges. Because of the way biological data is stored and encrypted, it’s much harder for hackers to access and use. But if it is accessed, it’s extremely valuable, since biological data can’t be changed or replaced in the event of a breach. And though those risks could deter consumer, merchant, and vendor adoption, it appears as though most parties believe the benefits outweigh the risks and will likely implement biometrics-based authentication in their applications moving forward.
In a new report from BI Intelligence, we size the market for biometrics-enabled smartphones in the US, describe various types of biometrics authentication, evaluate their utility in the payments space, investigate the potential security risks and hurdles to adoption for both front- and back-end applications, and assess the types that are most likely to see widespread application.