Securing mobile payments with biometrics

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017.

Sarah Clark of Mitek recently told Pymnts that biometrics are perceived by both consumers and financial institutions as an ideal enabler for securely validating mobile transactions.

“Based on the proliferation of mobile devices and the convenience these offer, Goode Intelligence predicts 1 billion customers will use biometrics to access banking services by 2017,” she explained.

“Furthermore, the accelerated rollout of biometric-enabled banking will virtually make biometrics accessible to anyone with a smartphone.”

Over the last 12 months, says Clark, financial institutions and payments companies have recently improved security, expanded their mobile offerings and rolled out digital commerce capabilities. This is expected to prompt changes in consumer payment behaviors, paving the way for more engaging and secure user journeys.

“The adoption of biometrics will make the entire identity verification process faster and more secure by adding a second factor of authentication and making it easier for banks and financial institutions to comply with current and upcoming KYC and AML regulations,” she added.

In related news, Japan’s NEC is conducting trials for cashless payment services utilizing NEC facial recognition technology in cooperation with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group. According to PlanetBiometrics, the service utilizes NEC’s NeoFace facial recognition engine which enables identity verification by matching pre-registered facial images against those taken by cameras installed in the Sumitomo Mitsui employee dining facilities. Payment for purchased items is automatically deducted from monthly salaries.

“This facial recognition [technique] has the unique characteristic of not requiring the installation of dedicated authentication devices,” PlanetBiometrics stated. “[It also] offers enhanced security and peace of mind due to the fact that registered facial data is stored in the form of numerical values, making it difficult or impossible for a third party to identify the faces of registered users even in the event that they are able to obtain the data.”

As we’ve previously discussed on Rambus Press, biometric authentication is steadily evolving to meet industry expectations for quick, effortless and secure mobile payment transactions. Nevertheless, consumers require assurances that their mobile payment information will remain secure. Similarly, stores and financial institutions need to be confident that the technology behind mobile payments is secure and easy-to-use before it can be truly embraced. As such, mass adoption of mobile payments will only be achieved when there is a single, unified platform built on an economy of digital trust that ensures an uninterrupted physical to digital experience.

Interested in learning more about the future of mobile payments? You can check out our ebook on the subject here.

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