Thales, Idex Biometrics and SmartMetric see biometric payment cards opportunity in contactless spike

Thales, Idex Biometrics and SmartMetric see biometric payment cards opportunity in contactless spike

Biometric technology providers continue to prepare for the mass adoption of fingerprint-enabled payment cards, and taking a recent spike in contactless payments that the moment may be close.

A blog post by Thales notes the growth rate in contactless payments doubled in the Nordic countries during the first four months of this year, and an 11 percent increase in contactless purchases in U.S. stores from April 2019 to April 2020.

Increased contactless payment limits still do not cover many purchases, particularly for a large family, as pointed out in the post. Between payment limits and the persistent threat of fraud, the successful trials of fingerprint payment cards such as the one by RBS with Gemalto technology have whipped demand from retailers and customers up to an all-time high, Thales writes.

Fingerprint biometrics could enable the payments industry to slash fraud the way the introduction of chip and PIN technology to compliment magnetic stripes did over a decade ago, writes Pascal Dufour, director of sales for EMEA for Idex Biometrics in an 11-page ebook.

“Biometric Cards Poised to Become a Mainstream Payment Product” puts the drivers of evolution in retail payments over the past two decades into historical perspective, including the introduction of more risk into the payments ecosystem with the move to more touch-free payments prompted by COVID-19. Lost and stolen card fraud in the UK before chip and PIN made up between 0.1 and 0.2 percent of hundreds of billions of pounds in spending, and was increasing, and Dufour warns that the number could rise again without the enhanced security provided by biometrics.

The ebook concludes by listing the benefits of the technology for consumers, retailers, and card issuing institutions.

SmartMetric President and CEO Chaya Hendrick likewise sees “consumer behavior being forever changed post COVID-19” by a desire not to touch shared surfaces, according to a press release.

The company notes a MarketsandMarkets forecast that contactless credit and debit card payments will rise at an 11.7 percent CAGR from $10.3 billion this year to $18 billion by 2025.

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