Biometric Identification Will Make You Love Payments

Biometric identification is the new trend within our online communities. We retain all information online, with a virtual key. But no system guarantees 100% protection of your data. Though protection systems have evolved yearly, we found ways to break them just as quickly. Slowly but surely, biometric identification systems will replace the traditional passwords, and our bet is that it will happen in the next 5-10 years.

With Biometric Identification you will remember all your passwords

A survey by Cyber Streetwise showed users in the UK use at least 15 passwords to log in to different sites. Indifferent of the kind of account we’re talking about: social networks, email, bank accounts, or computer passwords.

True, the “stay logged in” option, helps us a lot, but it’s not safe. Losing your phone, for instance, could mean losing control of all your accounts. And no, that’s not pleasant at all. But, what if you could carry your passwords at all times without being forced to remember any of them? Yes, that’s possible, now. Through biometric identification.

Biometric identification basically identifies you by recognizing unique parts of your body. For example, have you tried Samsung 7’s new fingerprint scanning system?

What biometric identification practices do we use most commonly?

1. Biometric Identification by fingerprint

The most common and useful biometric identification practice we use is fingerprint recognition. It goes without saying that its uniqueness is the main reason for that. Even for identical twins, when they have the same DNA, fingerprints are different. This happens because palm models with the same genetic basis are still affected by environmental conditions. But for fingerprints, once the template was formed it remains the same throughout the entire life.

Types of fingerprints, by Sir Edward Henry
Types of fingerprints, by Sir Edward Henry

2. Biometric identification by hand geometry

Biometric hand recognition is a feature available for authentication since the 1990s. It measures the physical characteristics of fingers or hands, including length, width, thickness and surface hand. This practice is one of the most reliable because the shape and size of our distinctive hands remain relatively stable over time.

The devices used in biometric identification by hand geometry are quite advantageous since they can operate in extreme temperatures and are not affected by external factors, such as dirty hands, dust, and so on.

Biometric identification by hand geometry

3. Biometric Identification by retina recognition

This method uses technologies that capture high-resolution images of your retina. It also includes an infrared camera that reduces reflection from the convex cornea, producing a detailed picture of the complex structure of your retina. After that, images are converted into digital templates and provide a mathematical representation of the retina. It’s the perfect biometric identification of an individual and is not influenced by any contact lenses or glasses that person would wear.

Biometric Identification by retina recognition

4. Biometric Identification by facial image

Face recognition technology has been refined over many years and has become one of the safest biometric identification. It records posture, facial expressions, aging or new hair style variations, glasses or temporary lighting changes.

Biometric Identification by facial image

5. Biometric Identification by Voice Recognition

In short, voice recognition is a spectrogram with a graph showing sound frequencies on the vertical axis and time on the horizontal axis. Different voices create different shapes on the chart. Voices are another unique aspect that can’t be exactly duplicated. Not even in twins. Speech consists of two components: a physiological component (vocal tract) and a behavioral component (the emphasis).

Biometric Identification Preferences – A statistical approach

A 2016 Populus survey, assessing 14 000 consumers in 7 European countries (UK, Sweden, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, and Poland), showed that users prefer secure, easy to use and discretionary biometric identification technologies.

The first choice among the users was the obvious fingerprint recognition because of its safety and convenience.

In terms of payments, in both online and offline stores, 81% of consumers perceive fingerprint recognition as the most reliable method, followed by 76% who would opt for iris scans.

In comparison, only 15% would favor voice recognition and 12% would trust facial recognition. Moreover, 2 out of 3 consumers, 67%, consider data security to be crucial in protecting their identity and personal information. Thus, these new forms of authentication must achieve a balance between speed and safety. The study showed that biometric identification is important both online, as well as in physical transactions.

  • 48% want to use biometric identification to pay for public transportation, such as taxis or busses
  • 47% want to use biometric identification to pay in bars or restaurants
  • 46% want to use biometric identification to pay for goods and services in major stores such as supermarkets, cafes and fast food restaurants.
  • 40% want to use biometric identification for online payments
  • 39% want to use biometric identification for downloading online content

Considering the above practices, what are your thoughts on the biometric technologies online shoppers prefer?

Before leaving you to ponder upon your personal preferences, depending on the emerging trends in terms of technology adoption, my bet is that in 10 years time, over 90% of worldwide payment systems will have biometric authentication. And, as a personal opinion, I reckon that the most used options will be the fingerprint and face recognition technology.

To support this prediction, we can take MasterCard as a conclusive example. Last year, the company launched a new payment verification service for mobiles, pay-by-selfie, and pay-by-fingerprint, which, at this point, is only available in Canada, USA, and UK.

Now, back to you! The comment section awaits! 🙂

Author avatar
Emilian Alexandru

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