Visa has revealed that soon you’ll be able to withdraw cash and make payments using your thumbprint, voice, retina and even heartbeat.
Currently, the credit card giant is working with the rest of the payments industry on new standards for migrating from PIN to thumbprint and consumers should see the technology by the end of the year.
Typing your PIN number into a cash machine will soon be a thing of the past
Rob Walls, head of product at Visa Australia, said customers are now “tech-hungry and very savvy in terms of how to use that technology”.
” You’re starting to see new devices and payments experiences coming into the market,” he said.
“Industry research suggests eight out of 10 people are using the same PIN across the majority of their payment cards,” Walls continued.
“In 2020, the average consumer will have more than 200 passwords they have to remember.
“That just means an explosion of places where your card details might be stored.
“To remove that risk, we can push that authentication to something that’s more natural and unique to the consumer, such as a retina scan, a thumbprint or heartbeat.
“There will be no more fumbling for your wallet, pushing in a 16-digit card number.”
Any change will be gradual, however.
“It’s an evolution, not a revolution,” Walls said.
“You’ve got to make sure you cater for every individual in the market as the ecosystem changes. To accept biometrics takes a long time — the point-of-sale terminals, the people manufacturing them, the banks putting them out, and merchants accepting them.”
With recent high-profile hacks and data breaches, Mr Walls said the credit card giant was “acutely aware” of the need to get standards and implementation around biometric authentication right from the outset.
“The opportunity is high, but there are also risks around not getting the security standards right, which may impact privacy and trust down the track,” he said.
“The standard we’re devising with industry ensures the biometric details never leave the device. Your voice or thumb is authenticated by the device you’re using, and that proof that you are who you say you are is transmitted.”
Anders Sorman-Nilsson, futurist and founder of strategy consultancy Thinque, said any technology that reduces friction from the life of the consumer was exciting.
This sort of credit or debit card will soon be banished to the margins of history
“My mum is a Baby Boomer, she hates the world of the internet partly as a result of her lack of organisation around passwords,” Mr Sorman-Nilsson said.
“She loves biometric authentication on her iPhone.
“She says: ‘This just saves me so much hassle.’
“So when she can buy something digitally on iTunes through biometric authentication, that just removes the friction of having to remember passwords.”
Mr Sorman-Nilsson said we had “moved on” from the time when “cash was king”.
“It would be a hugely liberating era where instead of passwords and numbers we have biometric authentication by thumbprint or retina,” he added.
“Of course all of those are turned into dynamic, encrypted numbers, but at the end of the day we don’t have to remember them.
“We’re nearly at the point where Minority Report is playing out, science fiction is becoming commercial reality, that’s quite an exciting fact.”
Photo: The Sun