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Idex Biometrics, Fingerprint Cards and Nuance executives discuss contactless, passwordless future

Idex Biometrics, Fingerprint Cards and Nuance executives discuss contactless, passwordless future

The pandemic has accidentally opened the door for biometric companies to showcase their technologies more widely, and made them some of the lucky few to see an increase in demand for their business. Whether for contactless payments, remote work accessibility, or identity access and control management, biometrics have proven their worth, explains Fingerprint Cards CEO Christian Frederikson in an editorial for PaymentSource.

“Contactless has seen a rapid and likely permanent boost in uptake among hygiene-minded consumers seeking to minimize the necessity of physically entering PIN codes and touching shared payment terminals,” Frederikson writes.

An additional layer of flexible, biometrics-enabled security would even remove the need for banking contactless limits, while biometrics cards are likely to witness faster adoption given not only the pandemic, but also expansion of IoT solutions and smart cities.

The adversity to using cash to prevent the spread of the virus is driving touch-free authentication to ensure more secure and hygienic payments, believes David Orme, SVP, Sales and Marketing, Idex Biometrics. In a guest post for Fintech Finance, Orme urges the global payments industry to look into consumer protection methods during the transaction process to prevent future pandemics.

He agrees with Frederikson that the health crisis has generated a higher demand for touch-free and mobile payments, due to major changes in user behavior. Contactless in the U.S. has grown 150 percent year-on-year as of May 2020, he writes citing a Visa report. At the same time, the U.S. mobile payment market has gone up by 41 percent, according to Forbes.

While China has been ahead of the game for some time, and PayPal has also released in this timeframe a QR code-based app, physical payment cards are still preferred by many consumers. Given that Apple and Google have recently issued payment cards in addition to the existing mobile payment apps, Orme says “only biometric payment cards can provide the most secure level of validation with an easy digital experience for shoppers.” Idex Biometrics’ research in the UK found that as little as 3 percent of consumers would opt for mobile payments, the majority believing a physical card is more secure.

Biometric fingerprint payment cards with end-to-end encryption ensure an increased level of security and accurate user fingerprint authentication, he argues. The process is completely touch-free, as the user is only touching the card and not the payment terminal.

Biometrics and a passwordless future are the solution in today’s digital world because passwords and PINs are increasing the risk for easy online fraud, writes Simon Marchand, Chief Fraud Prevention Officer of the Security and Biometrics business unit inside Nuance Communications’ Enterprise division for Security Boulevard. Passwords and identity questions currently used by many companies do nothing but jeopardize personal information and security, as they are not only annoying for consumers, but also very easy to hack.

Enter biometrics to eliminate knowledge-based authentication and replace it with facial recognition and voice and behavioral analytics. National banks, government agencies, telcos and retailers are already experimenting with voice biometrics for authentication, to prevent fraud and account takeover. HSBC’s voice biometrics system VoiceID, for instance, has successfully blocked twice as many fraud attempts in 2019, preventing nearly £400 million (roughly $493 million) from being stolen by phone scammers in the U.K.

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