Biometric Software Bolsters the Future of Smartphone Payments

Banking CIO Outlook | Thursday, October 18, 2018

The purpose of creating a password for any given document is to safeguard the details within the document. That said, in a world where information can be stored and shared through various devices, such as smartphones, setting up a password is more of a necessity than a choice. The passwords that a user typically keys in are a combination of alphabets and numbers, occasionally including special characters. The world is moving away from the application of basic alphanumeric passwords to leveraging biometric software.

Biometric software can identify a user by their physiological characteristics—through fingerprints, facial and voice recognition, and retinal or iris scanning. Today’s smartphones come packed with such biometric sensors that unlock a user’s device smoothly with just the touch of a finger. An area where biometric software presents quick and secure access to users is in online payments.

Mobile payments have become extremely favorable worldwide due to the ease of cashless transactions. The number of users relying on online payment apps such as PayPal, Zelle, and Google Pay, has been increasing consistently over the years. A recent article by Juniper Research estimates that the number of biometric software users would reach 1.5 billion by 2023. Currently, biometrically authenticated transactions average at 76 percent per annum globally. Predictions are that the major growth for mobile payments will come from Asia, with North American usage growing at 46 percent per annum.

“That said, even security parameters associated with mobile payments will broaden drastically,” remarks James Moar, senior analyst, Juniper Research. He further notes that the battle now is to convince users, chiefly those in Europe and North America, that biometric software is just as secure as traditional hardware-based security. The fingerprint scanner is a prime example of biometrics that smartphone users have adopted with open arms.

After the major success of the fingerprint scanner, many companies have already begun to offer more advanced biometric authentication like facial, voice, and retinal based identification. Biometrics is not only effective and intuitive but also brings sophistication to a consumer’s smartphone security.

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