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Biometric Payments: Tackling Consumer Trust & Certification Challenges

Boaz Gam

Boaz Gam


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4 min
Article content
  1. Is Consumers’ Attitude Toward Biometric Payments Shifting?
  2. The Importance of Certification in the Payments Industry
  3. Challenges in Certification & Testing of Biometric Solutions
  4. Summing Up: What’s Next for Biometric Payments?

Biometric Payments: How to Address Certification Challenges?

Biometric authentication lets users verify their identity when making payments in a secure, fast, and convenient way, which has led to the growing adoption of this technology. As a result, over 65% of consumers claim to be familiar with it. Yet, according to recent surveys, 69% of users are concerned about data breaches when using biometrics while 62% fear their privacy could be violated.

Thus, to ensure the successful implementation of biometric technology in the future, it’s essential to convince consumers that it is trustworthy. Read on to find out what challenges there are on the way to this goal and get to know how testing and certification can help to achieve it!

Is Consumers’ Attitude Toward Biometric Payments Shifting?

Biometric Payments: How to Address Certification Challenges?

In the past few years, the payment industry has seen the introduction of a variety of biometric-enabled solutions, including:

  • Biometric payment cards with fingerprint authentication
  • Palm vein scanners at brick-and-mortar stores
  • Face recognition payment systems

The list goes on, with new solutions emerging fairly often. But how are the shoppers responding to these innovations?

In 2022, already 97% of mobile devices worldwide were capable of utilizing biometric authentication. Therefore, the majority of users are already well-versed in using their fingerprint or the facial recognition function to authenticate themselves. This familiarity largely contributes to the consumers’ willingness to use biometrics when making purchases.

The global market for facial recognition alone is forecast to hit $13.8 billion by 2028, growing at a 15.7% compound annual rate, with other biometric niches being on similar tracks. However, the majority of consumers are expressing concerns regarding the regulatory measures, privacy, and data security related to this technology.

Certification has the potential to resolve these doubts - learn more details about it below.

The Importance of Certification in the Payments Industry

Biometric Payments: How to Address Certification Challenges?

Before diving deeper into the topic of certification in the biometrics niche, it’s crucial to understand its importance for the payments industry as a whole.

The payment ecosystem unites a great number of stakeholders, such as:

  • Payment service providers
  • Merchants
  • Vendors
  • Financial institutions
  • Banks
  • Fintechs
  • Payment networks
Due to the continuous evolution of the payments industry and the wide variety of parties involved in it, the certification process is not a tick-box exercise, but rather a continuous practice that ensures the entities’ compliance with the latest regulations. In other words, it’s the much-needed layer of trust that allows ecosystem participants on all levels to cooperate fairly and securely.

What’s more, relevant certifications provide organizations and merchants with a competitive advantage, invoke end user trust, and accelerate sales.

Challenges in Certification & Testing of Biometric Solutions

Biometric Payments: How to Address Certification Challenges?

As you can see, certification plays a significant role in the payments ecosystem, and the biometric authentication niche is no exception to the rule. Together with constant testing of innovative technology, this practice paves the way for the wider acceptance of biometrics-based payment solutions by helping balance two critical factors - convenience and security.

However, the biggest challenge for stakeholders is the fact that the biometrics ecosystem is highly fragmented. Different entities tend to require distinct certifications to validate the reliability of biometric solutions.

Besides, international and domestic requirements for both software and hardware vary drastically, so developing a product that complies with multiple standards requires deep expertise, a lengthy and expensive testing process, and intricate strategizing.

The fact that the rapidly developing biometric technology has to operate within a fragmented ecosystem holds back its evolution and lowers the potential adoption rates. Thus, while the market’s rise is expected to continue, it could be severely restrained if this major issue is not addressed.

The key actions that the stakeholders must undertake to prevent the sector’s stagnation are:

  • Shifting the focus on interoperability and adaptability
  • Developing standardized certification processes
  • Establishing uniform benchmarking practices to enable tech developers to compare key performance metrics

This plan of action will help to create a more standardized biometrics ecosystem and allow innovative solutions to reach the market quicker and more cost-effectively.

Summing Up: What’s Next for Biometric Payments?

Biometric Payments: How to Address Certification Challenges?

Biometrics are gradually becoming a fixture of consumers’ everyday lives. However, the impressive success that this technology has seen in mobile authentication has not yet translated to other sectors to the fullest of its potential.

While innovative projects continue pushing the boundaries of biometrics use cases, there are still challenges that need to be addressed in the payments sphere, with service providers facing the need to give customers assurance that their solutions are secure with standardized testing and certification procedures.

Luckily, there are legislative efforts worldwide that bring us closer to a more uniform regulatory framework for payment biometrics. For instance, in 2022, a number of states across the US introduced biometric guidelines based on the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which is sure to create a more consistent regulatory environment nationwide.

2023 is promising to bring even more progress in the field of biometric regulation in the US, and many jurisdictions across the globe are expected to follow suit.

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