Visa testing behavioral biometrics for use in future social payments

Visa is testing and refining a range of behavioral biometric technologies including voice recognition and ambient authentication, in preparation for the next generation of social payments, according to a report by International Business Times.

The credit card giant is looking to work with social payment platforms to create secure transactions that don’t require the level of intervention by the payer that they perhaps do today.

“If your screen is always on and you are looking at it while you are doing this social media payment, we can authenticate your face three or four times a second while you are making that payment,” Bill Gajda, senior vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships at Visa, said. “We can probably create a pretty good profile around that payment that convinces us that you are who you say you are. So we are looking at a lot of ways we can add value and take friction out of those payments.”

Gajda said that Visa is trying to use new machine learning, AI or biometric technologies to create a seamless, frictionless customer experience that will move authentication into the background.

The company is also hoping to adopt a more risk based authentication approach in which it can use multiple factors that don’t involve the buyer’s direct participation for authentication.

Although the company is still in the early stages of researching this space, it is considering all the different ways that it can use mobile and related technology to push authentication in the background, Gajda said.

“Today this is less about card data and more about identity data. Without doubt, this has become a commercial business in its own right and is far broader than card payments,” Peter Bayley, global head of fraud strategy & executive director ecosystem risk at Visa Europe, said. “This is a fundamental issue that we as a society are going to have to work to manage.

“Visa does monitor this stuff; of course we do, we have to. To see what activity is going on, what’s changing, are the volumes changing, who is being mentioned, what attacks etc. But mostly our focus is to remove the capability of this information to be re-used.”

Previously reported, Visa recently published a new study which reveals that millennials are interested in making biometric-secured payments using identifiers such as fingerprints and irises.

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