Are Biometrics on The Cards?

February 26, 2018

Contactless cards have become increasingly popular in the last 24 months, especially in the UK.
More and more businesses are installing machines that allow for contactless payments, simply because it has entered the public consciousness as a staple for quick transactions.
Entering a four-digit pin is now regarded as a basic expectation of card machines, and companies that are failing to embrace contactless as an additional feature are set to be left behind.
However, while contactless is handy in certain situations, bigger, more secure payments still require chip and pin input.
So, what is the next step? What is the future evolution for the contactless revolution?

Why Biometrics?

An issue with contactless payments, when compared to other payments that are currently available (chip and pin) and those that might be available in the future, is that only a limited amount of money can be spent on any one transaction. This is largely for the purposes of security.
Biometrics could well have the capacity to enhance security, drastically reduce fraud, and subsequently allow for larger purchases to be made.
However, it’s worth noting that this doesn’t really offer anything that isn’t currently available through a card without a contactless payment function, and the technology would still be open to exploitation.
Biometrics are more than a wild futuristic dream, however, and there’s already progress being made to one day make this technology a reality. The Bank of Cyprus has announced that it will participate in an initial trial, and it is expected that UK banks will be watching progress very carefully.
For many small businesses, this could mean updating payment technology at some point in the future. This initial outlay will likely be paid back many times over given that consumers will be able to spend far more in a single transaction compared to current contactless payments.
It is not known exactly how popular any trial will prove to be, nor if the technology will be as foolproof as is intended.
However, it’s worth noting from these developments that contactless payment itself is here to stay, so it’s important for businesses to ensure their current technology is completely up to date, and to think about the present before considering the future.
Businesses and banks are looking for new ways to improve the consumer experience, and that means making things simpler through processing both chip and pin and contactless payments.