Biometric Payments 101: What Merchants Should Expect to See

Josephine J. Romero

There’s a new question being thrown around in the payments industry: how are biometrics being used in payments, and what are they? Believe it or not, biometrics could change the way people pay online and in-store in the very near future. 

What are Biometrics?

Biometrics are measurable characteristics unique to each person, like fingerprints, voices and handprints. Essentially, biometric technology uses these characteristics to scan and verify in order to authenticate users. The growth of contactless payments – which is expected to increase by 36.6% year over year through 2022 – has led many customers to use biometrics to authenticate and make payments.

Biometric payments have several different forms. For example, it can take place using fingerprint or facial recognition to authorize a mobile wallet transaction. Experts are saying that the use of fingerprint and facial scans will likely increase in the coming years in retail, and voice recognition will become more prevalent for ecommerce. 

As a small business owner, you understand the importance of staying up-to-date on the latest technology. Especially when it comes to changes and improvements in payment processing options. Offering the latest payment methods can be the difference between staying competitive and building a loyal customer base or falling (dangerously) far behind.

Here are a few reasons why you should look into this technology:

Frictionless experience for customers

One of the biggest things consumers want today is a fast, seamless experience. So much time and effort goes into making sure the customer’s experience is a positive one, from the very first encounter and answering questions to the payment transaction and follow up. Because biometrics is based on customers’ physical characteristics, no guesswork, questions or risks, it ultimately provides a frictionless experience.

Widely adopted by consumers already

Whether they use their face to unlock their tablet or their fingerprint for their phone, most customers have been using biometrics for some time and are comfortable with the technology. So introducing more biometrics through payments won’t come as a shock to the majority. In fact, according to recent data from Juniper Research, by 2024, biometric facial recognition hardware will be deployed on more than 800 million mobile devices – time for your business to jump on board.

If your business is interested in learning more about the opportunities in incorporating biometric payments, it’s time to reach out to your payment processor. If your processor is not offering this option or you don’t currently have a processor, it’s time to do a little research. Find a provider that has experience in not only offering this service, but also supporting your business type and industry.

Blair Thomas has been a music producer, bouncer, screenwriter and for over a decade has been the proud Co-Founder of eMerchantBroker, the highest rated high risk merchant account processor in the country. He has climbed in the Himalayas, survived a hurricane, and lived on a gold mine in the Yukon. He currently calls Thailand his home with a lifetime collection of his favorite books.

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