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Precise Biometrics VP notes importance of communicating about security for biometric payment cards


Companies need to communicate effectively about the security of biometric payment cards, and specifically how fingerprint biometrics enhance the security of contactless payments, in order to reassure consumers, Precise Biometrics VP of Sales Fredrik Sjöholm writes in a post to the company blog.

The post is based on a webinar panel discussion Sjöholm participated in along with Lina Andolf-Orup of Fingerprint Cards, Sara Ellinger of NXP, and Alan Goode of Goode Intelligence. Goode recently forecasted that more than 575 million biometric payment cards will be in use by 2023. Biometrics are among few technologies that can support authentication and payment authorization through the many desired payment channels.

Sjöholm notes that 2019 is a year of real promise for biometric smart cards, and says that the balance of convenience, security, and ease of use with existing infrastructure are the three critical areas of focus for the industry. Cards must be easy to enroll biometric data to, attractively priced, and possible to produce with standard processes.

A lack of consumer confidence in the security of contactless cards is currently a key challenge to growth of the payment method, Andolf-Orup says. She notes that “in the UK, which has seen a huge adoption of contactless card use, contactless now accounts for more than half of all fraud related to payment cards.”

Sjöholm points out that while biometric authentication with a card is faster than entering a PIN, it is slower than a non-biometric payment process, so speed optimization will need to be continuously addressed. Ellinger talked about the importance of biometric templates being stored and matched in the card’s Secure Element.

“While payments will be one of the first use cases for these cards, we see that there is a growing interest to use this solution in other types of cards, such as premium and loyalty cards,” says Sjöholm. “Financial and social security is also an area that could benefit, for example health services and of course, identity and access cards. Going forward we also recognize that these highly efficient platforms incorporating biometric or fingerprint authentication can be re-used for other devices that require similar limited processing platforms, for example in automotive and for wearables such as rings and smart watches.”

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