Why biometric contactless cards will soon become the new standard
Payments should be time convenient and secure at the same. Biometric contactless cards not only meet these standards, but go above and beyond them. Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) names five key reasons why the future of contactless card transactions belongs to biometric payment cards.
Enjoying the convenience of “tap & go” contactless card payments while benefiting from the security of strong authentication: biometric contactless cards make it possible. During the “tap & go” hand movement, the owner simply places a finger onto an embedded fingerprint reader on the card. This activates the comparison of the fingerprint with the card owner’s initially registered fingerprint, which is securely stored on the card. The result of the comparison – the confirmation or the rejection – is then sent via wireless connection to the cash register’s terminal, enabling or blocking the payment transaction.
G+D predicts that such biometric payment cards will soon find their way into the wallets of average consumers due to their undeniable advantages:
1. Safety and data protection: The biometric data never leaves the card. It is neither transmitted to an external system nor stored in a central database. No one but the owner themself can use the card, so hackers and thieves are left with empty hands and pockets.
2. Increased convenience: The payment process is extremely fast and easy. Users do not need to type in a PIN or give a signature, they can apply the same ergonomic “tap & go” movement as with their normal contactless cards, which has already become their habit.
3. Freedom from restrictive transaction limits: Payment with conventional contactless cards is usually restricted to a specific limit. Not so with biometric payment cards. Due to their high security level, no restrictions are necessary with biometrically secured contactless card payments.
4. Higher hygenic standard: Holders only have physical contact with their own card. Foreign PIN pads or touchscreens do not have to be touched. Especially in times like these, this is an attractive option.
5. Usable (nearly) everywhere: The biometric cards work with all point-of-sale (POS) readers that are contactless-payment-capable and support Near Field Communication (NFC), meaning they are compatible with the vast majority of existing readers globally.
“The future belongs to payment solutions that are easy to use and secure at the same time,” says Mikko Kähkönen, responsible for the Card Products Portfolio at G+D. “As our pilot projects with several commercial banks worldwide underline, this is particularly true with biometric payment cards, because they accomplish a remarkable feat: they increase security without compromising convenience. Usually, you cannot have one without the other.”