By Ron Mendelson, Fast Offshore Founding Partner

Biometrics, the future of payment authentication: are you ready?

"Those who run ecommerce, online gambling, forex, or crypto sites should be looking for ways to incorporate biometric authentication into their payment methods," Ron Mendelson says.

Ron Mendelson is the Director of Costa-Rica based International Business & Corporate Services consultancy firm, Fast Offshore. With over 24 years of real-world experience in iGaming Licensing and Payments, Regulatory Compliance, Tax-Efficient Corporate Structuring, Incubator and other Hedge Fund Licenses, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency related services, he advises a number of international clients on their business needs in the Americas, Europe, and beyond.

Reading time 2:37 min

The columnist shares insights into the benefits of biometric payment authentication as a method for industries like online gambling, and what the future holds in this growing technology.

While shopping online has got much easier in recent years, many consumers still have to grapple with logging in, remembering passwords and pins, and even forgetting details regularly. Even the act of typing out a card number each time you make a purchase has gotten tiresome. Furthermore, many are concerned that typing sensitive information into a computer or mobile could pose a security risk.

What are biometric payments?

First of all, let us understand what we mean by biometrics. Biometric traits are unique and are not identical between any two people. They include:

  • Fingerprint
  • Face
  • Retina
  • Iris
  • Palm
  • Hand geometry
  • Voice
  • Signature 

These are impossible to replicate 100% and cannot be forged by a third party. This means that when they are used to ascertain someone’s identity and to authorise action on their behalf, the level of security is significantly higher than with a conventional password. 

Biometric payments are where payments are authorized via one or more biometric traits. For example, you could use a home smart assistant to buy something online and authorize the transaction with your voice. Alternatively, you could use the fingerprint sensor on your phone to pay via an app. 

Currently, several payment providers are developing biometric cards where instead of entering a pin code, you touch a fingerprint reader on the front of the card. Fingerprint data is stored in the card meaning it cannot be stolen or interfered with.

What are the benefits of biometric payment authentication?

Biometric payment authentication brings with it several benefits for both merchants and customers. Here are just a few:

  • Potentially more secure than pin codes as they cannot be guessed or replicated
  • Accurate algorithms with few glitches result in high levels of correct authentication
  • Biometric data can be stored on an individual device or card, rather than in a centralised location.
  • This reduces the risk of hacking or leaks
  • No need to create, remember or reset a PIN
  • A seamless and instant process of payment authorization
  • Higher levels of privacy
  • Increased profitability for merchants due to ease of making payments and quelled security fears
  • Easy integration with existing point of sale terminals, apps, websites, etc.

What does the future hold?

A recent survey from MemberPass and the Filene Research Institute suggests that there is growing support for biometric authentication in the financial services industry. Over two-thirds of consumers said they would place trust in a provider that offered biometric authentication and payment methods. This applied equally to online and in-person transactions. 

The research found that those who have previously experienced financial fraud or identity theft were more enthusiastic about the chance to use these new methods. More than 60% of all respondents said they would be happy to use mobile biometric authentication, reinforcing the fact that mobile shopping and payments will soon overtake those on PCs.

What we can deduce from this is that the need for biometric in person, in-app, and online payments are increasing. The inclusion of such payment options will not only increase sales and revenue, but it will have a positive impact on customer loyalty and trust in your brand.

Those who run ecommerce, online gambling, forex, or crypto sites should be looking for ways to incorporate biometric authentication into their payment methods. This can be done by negotiating third party agreement with biometric payment providers. Alternatively, you can consider setting up your own payment provider solution and offer it to a range of clients in various industries. 

How can Fast Offshore help?

Whether you want to integrate biometric payments into your business, negotiate better rates with a biometric authentication provider, or start your own payments company, Fast Offshore can help. We have been working in payments for over 22 years and have a wide network of contacts that can assist you with all your requirements. Considering the current situation, make sure your customers can use your online services securely, safely, and in ways that suit them.

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