All over the world, biometrics technology is quickly becoming a normal part of everyone’s lives. Whether users realize it or not, nearly everyone with a smartphone makes use of biometrics technology on a daily basis — such as with their fingerprint scanners or facial recognition. However, biometrics transcends mere phones and tablets. Bayometric’s co-founder and CEO Danny Thakkar lists the many other ways biometrics is used — from airport security and employee attendance systems, to criminal identification and hotel check-ins.
While this technology has certainly revolutionized the way we approach privacy and safety, it’s important to note that biometrics is also starting to dominate the world of payments and finance. Not only can it facilitate secure, cashless, and contactless transactions (which is a must during the pandemic), but it can also make payments and transactions easier for various industries.
Below, we take a look at the bright, promising future of biometrics payments.
Vending machines have successfully evolved over the years, thanks to the addition of more payment options and healthier food choices. To this day, vending machines remain a large and lucrative market. In fact, the US has the most vending machines in the world, with the market valued at over $1.9 billion. Because the market is so large and lucrative, many aspiring entrepreneurs are looking to start their own vending machine business – but how do you stand out from the crowd? ZenBusiness advises asking the following questions: “Will your machines accept credit and debit card payments? Will they incorporate interactive touch functionality? Will they have voice-activated screens?” Well, it seems likely that “Will your vending machines have biometric systems?” will soon be added to that list. Emerald Organic is reportedly developing proprietary vending machines with facial recognition technology that helps determine a potential buyer’s age. This can be extremely useful for vending machines that carry age-restricted items like alcohol or CBD products.
Aside from being able to authorize transactions using their biometric data, users can also choose to reveal their purchasing behavior and browsing habits connected to a vending machine provider. Powered by AI, vending machines equipped with biometric can then interact with the consumer’s data and make product recommendations based on their past purchases and preferences. The data gathered by biometric solutions can also be used to improve the overall consumer experience and help companies find better product-market fit.
One key area where biometrics payments have seen rapid development is in banks and ATMs. Indeed, the most stringent security measures are carried out by financial institutions and banks as they regularly deal with a significantly huge amount of money and heaps of sensitive information. What biometrics does for this industry is it provides a convenient way for a user to access their accounts and finances while still providing robust protection.
In the future, we can see biometrics payments enhance the banking experience in a myriad of ways. For one, biometrics technology can power digital on boarding and make it easier for both users and financial services providers. This is all the more important now when traditional banks are struggling to catch up with fintech startups in terms of innovation. Biometrics technology can be used to accelerate digital on boarding, which usually includes eKYC (electronic Know Your Customer) activities such as taking a photo of yourself and a government-issued ID. With the help of a powerful AI system, banks can carry out biometric checks in real-time to make eKYC activities more secure and speed up digital on boarding as a whole.
Additionally, biometrics technology is slowly being used to make regular transactions smoother, safer, and more secure. For instance, Mastercard has introduced Mastercard Identity, a program that aims to remove password-based authentication and instead use inherence factors such as fingerprints and facial scans to confirm online payments. Adoption of this technology will be much more widespread in the future, as more and more people continue to support e-commerce platforms and retailers.
Biometrics solutions will also be utilized to bolster ATM security. ATM skimming remains as one of the most prevalent electronic crimes in the country — and many are constantly in fear of having their personal information and finances compromised. Banks and financial institutions can make ATMs more secure by equipping them with biometrics solutions that make transactions exclusive to the card holder. In fact, Japan’s Seven Bank is currently replacing existing ATMs with new ones fitted with a QR code reader and facial recognition software — providing a quick and secure identity verification mechanism to their users. Soon, we might even find ATM cards to be obsolete as biometrics solutions allow users to access their cash using their physical characteristics.
Money moves frequently in the gaming industry and casinos can benefit greatly from installing software and hardware that allows for biometrics payments. Indeed, gaming pioneer Konami has installed facial recognition technology on their slot machines and table games to make it playing easier for patrons. This technology can also potentially render player cards obsolete since biometrics solutions recognize a player based on the photo or facial scans that they provide. Additionally, biometrics solutions also add another layer of security for casinos. To mitigate cheating, casinos deploy a ton of guards and install hundreds of surveillance cameras all over the facility. With biometric technology, casinos can easily track suspicious people and prevent cheating from happening.
Without a doubt, the current global health crisis has highlighted the need for mass adoption of contactless payments. In order to ensure everyone’s wellness and observe the best hygiene practices, restaurants can install biometrics software such as facial recognition technology and retina scanners. Doing so allows customers to authorize transactions without having any direct physical contact with the restaurant employee. This technology is being developed by tech startup PopEntry+ as a way to help restaurants secure the safety of their patrons and employees. PopEntry+ installs facial recognition software and a temperature monitoring device at the entryway of a restaurant, so patrons can just walk through the door and be automatically offered their favorite drink or meal. In this day and age, convenience is not enough for restaurants to push their sales — they also need to install relevant technologies such as biometrics to personalize their service and make wellness a top priority.