Visa Expects Phones With Biometrics Will Become Common In One Year

business man entering data of a credit card . On-line shopping on the internet using a mobile phone

This article in the Sydney Morning Herald quotes Visa Asia Pacific head of risk, Joe Cunningham, as predicting that it will be commonplace for phones coming to market over the next year to have the secure biometrics that enable payment authorizations. Looking at the article it appears the reporter misunderstood the quote to be specific to payments while it appears it was specific to the device:

“In a bid to counter fraud, it has issued new standards that will remove the need to enter a personal identification number (PIN) when making purchases in-person. It is also beefing up its systems for detecting fraudulent transactions made online.

Instead of using a PIN for purchases over $100, as occurs today, customers will be able to use their smart phone to take a scan of their fingerprint, or face, under the new standards issued to banks and technology companies.

This option would only be available to those using a “digital wallet” – where a phone is used to make payments, by tapping it on a contactless card reader. Exactly when the technology is available will also depend on phone manufacturers meeting the standards – some phones already do this.

Only one big bank, ANZ, has so far done a deal with Apple to allow tap payments on the iPhone.

Visa Asia Pacific head of risk, Joe Cunningham, predicted such “biometric” payments would become common within a year.

 ‘Five years ago, the idea that entering a PIN could become a rare experience would have been almost unbelievable,’ he said.

‘Yet how we pay is changing fundamentally and security needs to move at the same speed. Biometrics are a crucial part of the future. Some devices that use these new standards have just entered the market and we expect it to become commonplace within the next year.’”

Over the next five years the mobile smartphone market will move towards biometric sensors, however physical sensors may not be required assuming behavioral biometrics evolve sufficiently. At some point in the near future it may be possible to passively collect enough signals from the user and the user’s environment to identify the individual with equal or greater reliability than possible with physical sensors.

Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation and Director of the Emerging Technologies Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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