Biometrics and the trust factor

Last week was a very busy news week for biometrics.

There was news from Uber that their drivers will soon have to take mandatory and regular selfies in order to verify their identity. This was followed by an announcement from a researcher in Singapore who claimed that iris identification software, as piloted by the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7, would be the catalyst for the development of biometric driven mobile payments. Finally, Leonovo and PayPal, founders of the FIDO Alliance, shared the news that they were working on ways to have fingerprint authentication on laptops for payments.

But, even though biometrics are taking a protagonist position on today’s and tomorrow’s technology, there is still some resistance from users.

This rush of news comes hot on the heels of a study that revealed that UK consumers are almost twice as likely to trust banks with their biometric information as they were government. And the reason is because trust is critical in biometrics.

The very concept of biometrics can cause fears of intrusion. And, even though for most of us, our biometric data is only ever held on our own devices, at a time of headline grabbing data breaches and cyberwarfare, both private and government backed, it is understandable that individuals will have concerns about what information they share and who they share it with.

Trust is also vitally important in payments. Consumers have to be able to trust that their details and money are safe. Businesses have to be able to trust that the people carrying out the transactions are who they say they are. Issuers and acquirers have to trust that everyone involved in the payments process is legitimate.

The power of biometrics to help deliver this trust is considerable; however, biometrics, alone, is not the answer to authentication.

Authentication is at its strongest when there is more than one factor in play. That’s why MYPINPAD’s solutions are built alongside biometrics; to complement them and bring in that critical extra layer  to improve the security.

Biometrics are gaining reliance. But they have a long way to go to match the trust of the simple and widely used PIN. Our PIN based authentication solution can help deliver even more support to biometrics.