Biometrics: The Future of Identity Authentication?


Nymi Band
Identity authentication remains a hot button issue for payment processors due to continued data breaches at large retailers. Many banks and credit card providers are developing payment options that are both easy and secure, with biometrics playing a large part in these solutions. Apple Pay already uses a fingerprint as identity authentication for their contactless payment option, but are there other biometric options that could make it easier for customers to make secure payments?

MasterCard, along with Toronto-based technology firm Bionym, are currently testing a product called the Nymi Band. This wristband authenticates a person’s identity through a recording of their heartbeat, something that is unique to individuals. Similar in appearance to fitness wristbands that are growing in popularity, the Nymi Band contains a MasterCard credit card number and utilizes NFC technology. Users selected to take part in the pilot program will be able to use the band anywhere that already accepts MasterCard contactless payments.

The Nymi Band is one of a growing number of secure payment options that don’t include use of a card. The creators view this option as something that will be of little bother to both customers and merchants. Users will forget about the band’s security functions until it comes time to pay, and merchants don’t need to upgrade technology if they already accept contactless payments. And because the band can only be used when on the wrist of the user, concerns about theft and fraud are low. 

Like Apple Pay this type of technology is only applicable to in-person payments made at POS terminals. For those businesses that accept payments online other identity authentication and verification solutions, like EVS’s IdentitFlo Management Platform, will continue to play a large role in stopping fraudulent transactions.

[Contributed by EVS Marketing]