Consumers are constantly exploring new payment technologies including mobile apps and voice assistants, and now biometric payments are becoming increasingly popular as well. A biometric payment is a point of sale technology that uses unique human characteristics like fingerprints and voice patterns to authenticate a user and authorize bank account deductions.

Consumers are eager to utilize this offering for a quick payments experience that requires little to no human interaction. Furthermore, banks are already capitalizing on consumer excitement surrounding biometric payments. In fact, according to Visa.com, the company has created a pilot in the U.S. to test payment cards with built-in biometric sensors for contactless payments. The card is currently testing the use of fingerprint recognition as an alternative to a PIN or signature to authenticate the cardholder during a transaction. This means that the days of forgetting your PIN could be a thing of the past.

With this information in mind, what are the pros and cons of using biometric payments?

Considering the Advantages of Biometrics

When using biometrics, because the technology utilizes your unique characteristics, consumers can feel reassured that they are protected when making a payment. According to a study conducted by EyeVerify that was released in May 2017, biometrics can drive stronger brand trust because the banks and apps offering this extra form of authentication are simultaneously addressing potential mobile security concerns.

In addition, Security Magazine revealed that biometrics drive more frequent app use with 21 percent of consumers checking their payment apps more than once a day when this feature is enabled. This results in having a greater opportunity to engage and provide value through mobile apps to encourage consumers to pay their bills on time.

Considering the Implications

Despite biometrics gaining popularity and becoming an option that many consumers are eager to use, one should still consider the potential concerns associated with this technology.

It’s important to consider that since biometrics use something specific and unique to customers to process payments, there can be potential for accounts and other personal information to be tampered with. Additionally, since biometrics can’t be tossed away like a stolen debit or credit card or password, once this information is stolen, the process to re-establish security can be quite complicated.

 

Although biometrics can be beneficial to both consumers and businesses, before implementing this technology, billers should weigh both the potential benefits as well as possible concerns associated with this technology. If billers do consider implementing biometrics, it’s important to consistently communicate with consumers and educate them about the technology providing them with a better understanding of the offering and improving any barriers to adoption.

Interested in learning more? Please contact Alexis Blackstead at alexis.blackstead@westernunion.com.