Visa experimenting with biometrics for payment verification

By on February 25, 2014, 2:00 PM
visa, mobile payments, biometrics, payment service, fingerprint scanner

Biometric fingerprint scanners like the one found on the iPhone 5s and the upcoming Galaxy S5 is likely the future of mobile security. The technology could also have far-reaching implications outside of the smartphone market, however, which is why Visa is experimenting with implementations specific to payment systems.

Jon White, Visa’s Head of Marketing, recently pointed out that smartphones equipped with fingerprint scanners are definitely useful. He said Visa is working with these technologies and they are all very interesting.

But how exactly would Visa implement such a solution? That’s unclear at this time but odds are, it’d need to be linked to a mobile device.

White added that it’s a different consideration between drawing a squiggle to unlock a phone or putting in a four-digit password to access a mobile device versus what’s required to access a bank account. Secure management of payment credentials is top priority, he said.

Something else that needs to be considered, White noted, is consumer attitude. Do users really want a single password (in this case, a fingerprint) to access all of their secure services? Sure, the idea of a single password sounds convenient but will consumers ever get over the idea of that being a secure solution?

The executive expects partnerships to form in this space and although Visa will continue to explore it, they will need multiple layers of encryption to preserve customer trust and integrity, he concluded.

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