Have you wondered what the payments of the future will look like? Until recently, the identification of a human being by means of fingerprint, iris, face, voice recognition or analysis of the use of the keyboard seemed to be far from reality. Nowadays, biometrics are increasingly used in everyday life and will become the standard for confirming identity. Biometric identification is faster, more convenient and, above all, safer than standard solutions.
Biometry has always been a part of our lives. The word biometry comes from the Greek words bio (living, life) and metron (measure). Biometry, therefore, means measuring the individual characteristics of the human body to confirm identity. The human is the password themselves. Biometric methods are divided into two groups: physical and behavioural. Physical methods are solutions that confirm identity based on unique human characteristics, e.g. biometry of fingerprints, iris, blood vessels or facial geometry. Methods that examine physical characteristics include biometrics of voice tone and gait.
Biometry has been known since the beginning of humanity. Already in prehistoric times, artists stamped their drawings on the walls of caves with palm prints.1
So biometrics is not new. The world offers a wide range of biometric solutions that confirm user identity in many areas of life. The door to our house may have a built-in fingerprint reader, so we open it without using a key. To unlock the phone we don’t need to enter a PIN, just a scan of our face. The finger or hand vein layout reader allows us to access rooms or systems without wearing badges or remembering difficult passwords. You can already log in by voice on the helpline with the bank.
And what about the world of payment? Although cash is still important, we make more and more non-cash transactions every year. Statistics published by the National Bank of Poland on payment cards after the second quarter of 2019 show that Poles have 42 million cards in their wallets, with transactions totalling PLN 200 billion, and in the third quarter of 2019 the number of contactless transactions exceeded one billion for the first time ever. Cashless shopping is simply more convenient. We confirm transactions using card, Blik, Google Pay, Apple Pay. We pay by phone, but also with wearables. The most popular are watches, but we can already pay with rings, fitness bands or bracelets. Digital payments will strive for much greater simplicity. The trend of this transformation is unstoppable.2
What is our consumer approach to biometrics? According to the Mastercard study entitled “Secure e-shopping”, almost half of Polish e-consumers would like to biometrically authenticate card payments, either in a stationary store or online.
Polish consumers are open to the use of biometric forms of payment confirmation.
According to 46% of them, greater security at the payment stage would encourage them to shop online more often. 76% believe that strong online card payment authentication is needed and that an additional element confirming the user’s identity and increasing the security of transactions will encourage many of them to shop more often online.4 According to Digital Payments Study 2017 report prepared for Visa, Polish consumers are open to modern digital payments, including biometrics. 86% of them have already made a contactless payment, and almost 90% of them think they will pay with a smartphone within three years. Contactless payments opened Poles to new, innovative payment solutions. 83% believe that biometrics is a secure form of authentication. At the same time, most of them would feel secure if biometric solutions were used to authorise these transactions.5 The answer to consumers’ needs is the introduction of the European Union PSD2 (Payment Services Directive 2), which regulates the payments market. The Directive introduces so-called strong customer authentication (SCA). According to these provisions, when logging into the system or making a card payment for online purchases, the consumer must confirm their identity using at least two out of three possible elements of authentication: knowledge (what the customer knows only, e.g. a password), possession (something that the customer only have, e.g. a phone) or characteristics of the customer (something that characterises the customer only, e.g. a fingerprint).6 Biometric features of the customer – fingerprint or facial features, are unique, difficult to steal, affect the quick, but above all safe payments. They reduce the risk of fraud. That is why the major payment solution providers declare that they will develop their tools precisely towards biometrics.7
And how can future payments look like? We expect more and more freedom, comfort and above all safety. We want to make payments faster and more efficiently. Card payments seem a simpler solution than cash. I can buy what I want and how much I want – as long as I have the money in my bank account, of course. The amount of cash you have is no longer a problem. Contactless payments are even faster; I put the card on the terminal and done. Did you forget your card? It’s not a problem at all. You have a phone, so you can confirm the transaction on the phone. Is your phone flat? You can pay with your watch. What if the watch breaks, gets flat? Or maybe biometrics alone is enough to make payments? And here comes the solution of the Wrocław-based company PayEye, which is the first in the world to launch iris payment on the commercial market. You can pay with one look without any unnecessary accessories. Check out PayEye and enjoy your life!