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Biometrics can take more contact out of contactless payments

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We’ve come a long way in the evolution of digital payments. Magnetic stripe cards, chip-and-PIN and contactless technology have all played a role in dethroning cash as "king of payments" with many countries well on their way to becoming cashless economies.

As with all tech innovation consumer readiness is always the deciding factor in the crowning of new payments royalty.

But with all the noise from the payments world, it’s important to answer the de facto question that’s key to any technology’s success: Are consumers ready for contactless biometric cards?

Contactless has achieved great success globally, and it's now seeing a steep increase across the world.

In addition to consumers being frustrated with having to remember a plethora of PINs and passwords, the current pandemic has also brought to light the unhygienic nature of cash and PIN-enabled payments. Now more than ever, consumers are eager to use a secure, convenient, and cleaner payment method. And contactless almost fits the bill. Although consumers want to use their contactless card more often, security worries, payment experience frustrations, and payment caps limiting the amount allowed in many markets are all preventing the card from reaching its full potential usage.

This is where biometrics comes into play - the missing element that can take contactless into the era of worriless and limitless payments, and provide consumers an experience they expect.

Security is a primary concern for consumers when it comes to contactless. Yet with hygiene concerns at an all-time high, many consumers aren’t eager to use PIN pads to secure their payments either. By moving the authentication onto the card itself, biometrics add security to payments in a way that allows consumers to never touch a PIN pad again.

With the rise of data privacy concerns, consumers can rest assured that their biometric data never leaves the card and won’t be shared with third parties or cloud-based databases. Everything remains securely stored on the payment card itself.

Biometrics bring additional trust to contactless payments, while keeping the same level of convenience, allowing consumers to make a secure payment in less than a second. And contactless creates a unified experience so you know what to expect every time you pay, versus supplying a PIN code sometimes and contactless other times. Biometrics always works the same way no matter where you are in the world.

Because a biometric payment card does not need to be charged – it’s powered from the payment terminal in the same way traditional contactless is – there is nothing standing in the way of efficiency-loving consumers embracing this technology.

Payment caps exist to offset the lack of PIN security in traditional contactless payments. In light of the current hygiene concerns, many countries around the world have already raised contactless payment caps in a bid to reduce PIN entry and cash use. But without any additional strong authentication, limits have not been lifted completely. This is not only frustrating consumers, but our recent research found this was the primary frustration banks cited regarding contactless.

With the touch of a finger, biometrics brings the robust security needed to remove contactless payment limits altogether. Across contactless cards, mobile, wearables - and even future payment options - biometrics can provide a strong and seamless authentication solution to however we choose to pay in whatever contactless form or shape. Limitless payments with a harmonized user experience, wherever consumers are, however much they spend, and wherever they pay for the perfect companion in the age of convenience.

A less pressing, although by no means trivial matter, is that consumers are simply ready for something new. Over a third of consumers indicate they want to use more modern and personal payment cards, and biometrics sits alongside metal cards, tailored designs and other innovations to do just that. Not to mention that the standard contactless card, the last great innovation in card payments, is now over a decade old.

Featuring the latest fingerprint sensors and an advanced algorithm with AI, biometric payment cards not only meet the criteria for a modern and next-generation payment card but offer the most personal touch imaginable. Your fingerprint.

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Biometrics Contactless payments Mobile payments Payment fraud Merchant
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