In the 1982 motion picture, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” James Kirk requires access to the top-secret Genesis project. No fuss, no muss; he calls up the archives only to be challenged by the computer to confirm he is, in fact, who he says. The device scans Kirk’s peepers and ensures accuracy within 99.999999987%. Payment security experts would like those odds.
Retinal scanning, once the domain of science fiction, is one of several recognition technologies developed or perfected over the past fifteen years. Solutions like it are being adapted to fit the payments security field. In the United States, EMV is creating a secure environment for card-present checkout environments. The security hole resides in the card-not-present online payment scenario. Developers are looking to biometrics to fill that gap and secure all payments settings. Biometrics hinge on authentication based on one’s characteristics – what you are versus what you know. That is, biometrics could replace the password for payment security within mobile and connected devices. In fact, a recent survey demonstrated that 84% of respondents would support the elimination of passwords and 76% would feel safer with some other authentication type.
What other authentication types, you ask? Some mobile banking apps are introducing fingerprint or touch-based customer logins. MasterCard announced a new “Pay by Selfie” feature, which is essentially a facial recognition algorithm. The shopper verifies identify by holding the phone to her face and blinking (the blink prevents criminals from holding up the phone to a picture). Millennials (who conduct 86% of their transactions via smart phones) will appreciate the seamless payment experience and drive adoption.
Are you ready to ditch your passwords in favor of a retinal scan, touch verification or selfie? If Captain Kirk can do it, so can you.