Banking News

Biometric Payments Authentication Capabilities Expanding

Biometric Payments Authentication Capabilities Expanding

(2 July 2018 - Europe)  Visa has launched a new pilot in the US and Europe of new dual-interface biometric payment cards with Mountain America Credit Union and Bank of Cyprus. 

The pilot is being managed through the Visa Ready for Biometrics program, a new offering to support the growing demand for biometric technology in the payments category. It is the first pilot of its kind in the US to test an on-card biometric sensor for contactless payments. The card will test the use of fingerprint recognition as an alternative to PIN or signature to authenticate the cardholder during a transaction.

Visa found that consumers are as likely to want to use fingerprint recognition for in-store purchases as they are for online payments according to a study of 1000 US consumers on their perceptions of biometric authentication conducted by AYTM Market Research. Fingerprint recognition ranked the highest in terms of desired payment authentication for in-store usage, nominated by one in two respondents. The pilot is being conducted in partnership with Fingerprint Cards, Kona-I and Gemalto to assess the cardholder experience and the technology of the biometric cards in different retail environments.

Fingerprint biometric is stored only on the card to ensure that a cardholder’s data is protected. The biometric card is designed to be compatible with existing payment terminals that accept contactless or chip based payments around the world and the biometric sensor is powered by the payment terminal, ensuring there is no embedded battery or need to re-charge the card. The cardholder enrols the fingerprint, which is securely stored on the card. When he or she places the finger on the card’s sensor during a transaction, the card senses whether the scanned print is the same as the print stored in the card. A green or red light on the card indicates a successful or unsuccessful match. Biometric payment cards offer several benefits beyond ease of use including strengthened security, removal of hardware upgrades and they are self-charging.

“The world is quickly moving toward a future that will be free of passwords, as consumers realize how biometric technologies can make their lives easier. As electronic payments expand dramatically around the world, Visa is committed to developing and investing in emerging capabilities that deliver a better, more secure payment experience.” said Jack Forestell, head of global merchant solutions, Visa.

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