Will Biometric Payment Methods be the New Form of Credit Cards?

Contactless payment methods were all the rage a few years ago, with Square reporting that just last year, 92 percent of retailers offered a contactless payment method to customers. But now, there’s a new way to pay—using biometric authentication.

“Biometrics—if you haven’t heard that term before—it’s really using a characteristic about a person for authentication and identification. Think about like fingerprints, facial scans, things like that,” stated William Budde, host of The Banking Budde.

National chains are catching on. J.P. Morgan plans to pilot biometric payment methods such as palm and facial recognition with some U.S. retailers. Amazon One is also allowing their customers to scan their palm to pay in store at Panera.

What are the benefits? Faster and more simplified transactions. And, some may argue, improved security—but others have their doubts on this one. Is biometric authentication truly secure? Maybe not, explained Budde. Privacy is another issue at hand. In fact, Amazon is currently facing a lawsuit, as they allegedly did not inform consumers in New York Amazon Go stores that they were tracking biometric information such as facial scans and fingerprints.

The regulatory aspect also poses a challenge. “The other thing that really is going to come to the floor is from a regulation perspective. There’s not a whole lot of regulation around this area right now. The regulation that does exist tends to be at the local level, which makes it very hard to roll out functionality for large chains or national offerings, things that both Panera and J.P. Morgan offer,” Budde explained.

Will biometric authentication be the next best payment method after Apple Pay® for large chains? Maybe, but there are some barricades these companies are facing that leave some consumers doubtful. William Budde, Host of The Banking Budde, shares his thoughts on some of the most recent biometric payment rollouts.

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