How Biometrics is Driving Security in Digital Payments?

face detection

Overused, often forgotten, and weak passwords have been at the root of expensive data breaches, lost opportunities, and soaring cybersecurity bills for decades. Thankfully, a solution is in the pipeline.

The use of biometric software to verify a person’s identity such as their fingerprints, face, or voice is quickly being adopted by digital payment companies around the world as they seek to offer enhanced security options to their clients.

Alternatives are being sought to a chip and pin-based card. This may soon be replaced by biometric payment cards. These were not just designed to attract more tech-savvy customers, but everyone who is security conscious and tired of trying to remember a series of complex pins.

Manufacturers are equipping smartphones with a series of sophisticated sensors that could go away with the need for passwords forever. Voice prints, fingerprint scanners, and facial recognition will soon do the job better and faster.

Google’s engineers have equipped all Android 7 and above smartphones with their latest 2nd generation FIDO protocols. This move alone has shown this shift to the use of biometric software is moving much faster than some people believe.

More sophisticated security measures are needed as more cyber-attacks occur every year. These are advancing the need for more secure methods of payment like biometric identification.

  • The FBI’s report on wire fraud attacks shows the cases are on average rising by over 100 million dollars per month.
  • Over 40% of the companies affected were small businesses and nearly 60% of these targets never recovered from the cyber attacks.
  • Recent studies have shown biometrics is becoming part of mainstream security protocols for digital payments.
  • The need for effective biometric authentication methods is increasing exponentially every year.
  • 57% of these transactions are expected to be authenticated using biometrics in 2023, as opposed to only 28% in 2018.
  • A recent survey conducted by IBM has revealed that 67% of their customers are happy to use biometric identification, but nearly 90% of them have stated that they would be comfortable using the technology in the future.

The top 5 security threats to poorly secured payment systems

Our current payment system has become far more vulnerable and susceptible to a variety of cybersecurity attacks such as:


Malicious software has become increasingly sophisticated, hackers can scrape your keystrokes, learn passwords, well as infiltrating your webcams just to name a few breaches.

BYOD and Mobile usage

Far too many professionals use unsecured mobile devices that are linked to their workplace. Employees quickly become frustrated when companies request multiple-step authorization processes.

An over-reliance on encryption

encryption will only be as secure as how you manage its keys and how it’s used while it will prevent data form being stolen. It’s not completely safe to solely depend on encryption as a security protocol.

Spear Phishing

This type of security breach is extremely difficult to identify as it usually targets the high-end company officials. Using targeted messaging Baccharis intends to lure unsuspecting victims to create breaches in their sophisticated security systems.

IoT breaches

Haikus have begun to target some of the 75 billion IoT connected devices that are found around the world, many of which are not secured.

How biometric software is the future of security in digital payments?

Authentication will be Multi-factor

MFA (multi-factor authorization) will be implemented and this adds an additional layer of security such as biometric identification.

Faster, easier and safer online banking

Some banks have partnered with Apple to use their facial ID software to provide their customers with simple and safer online banking services.

Card payments will be more secure

Two of the biggest players in the market – Visa, and MasterCard – have begun developing technology to launch biometric payment cards. These will allow their clients to make secure payments just by scanning their fingerprints.

Handling financial inclusivity

The government can use contactless biometric identification cards to improve the security of their welfare systems, allowing them to effectively monitor and target the distribution of any social welfare payments.

The future is that customers are ready for these advances in security, governments and regulators have been pushing for this technology to be implemented for years and as the less secure, older payment systems have quickly become more obsolete, a change is around the corner.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.