Biometrics in banking and financial services
11 September 2014 17:04 GMT

Dear Readers,

The use of biometrics in banking and financial services is projected to exceed US$8.0 billion by 2020, according to research released earlier this year. This projected increase is partly put down to the fact that traditional authentication systems are becoming vulnerable and less reliable, but is also because the systems can sometimes be seen as "clunky", especially where card details are having to be entered on smaller-screen mobile devices.

This idea is reported on in the last few days by Jonathan Vaux, Director of New Payment Propositions at Visa Europe. In a fascinating blog he notes that there is now an emerging trend for big tech players to open up access to identity authentication services, and to find new ways to upload payment card details to the cloud. This approach could make biometrics an optimal mechanism, he noted.

Storing card details in the cloud is not a new idea, of course - it's a service that's been around and in use for a number of years. What's really interesting is that any developer can now take advantage of these capabilities and integrate them into their own applications.

Biometric authentication can help as it could offer an easy, quick and secure mechanism to access the card details stored within an app and initiate payment.

"We are witnessing the evolution of a new digital payment age," says Vaux. "We will need to recognise other forms of authentication, such as thumbprints, in our process flows and evaluate its impact on the commercial framework."

One thing is for sure - biometrics usage in the financial sector is far from being small change, and is a significant potential growth area for the industry.

Mark Lockie, Editor

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