Will Fintech’s Love Affair With Biometrics End Badly ....

For The Global Payment Giants Touting This Match Made In Heaven?


Originally published by findBIOMETRICS.com


Nowhere was this more apparent than at the Money20/20 Conference in October 2015. More than 10,000 financial service, payment and high-tech industry leaders converged on Las Vegas to hobnob with scores of fintech wannabes and digital money analysts and advocates all clamoring to display expertise and insight into the mainstream adoption of biometrics as an enabler of mobile commerce.


Market legends from Visa and MasterCard to First Bank and Chase, along with Samsung, Google, Facebook, and more too numerous to list were tripping over each other to embrace biometrics as mainstream technology. A year earlier at the 2014 edition of Money20/20, keynote attendees were entertained with a gag biometric video The Future of Dough-PayByAss. But by 2015, as the event’s major sponsors all touted biometric offerings, the technology was clearly no longer a laughing matter and well beyond the crude musings of a satirical video.


Biometrics Embrace Encouraging and Confounding

GUEST POST: Will Biometrics Displace Global Payment Giants?

Encouraging in that the unprecedented depth and intensity of interest and media coverage reflects a genuine mainstream commercial embrace of biometrics. This is extremely positive news for a technology industry that has been waiting for more than a decade to break free from its niche application in criminal and civil government markets.

Confounding in that very financial service behemoths, the Citi’s, American Express’s, and First Bank’s of the world, along with the chieftains of payment processing Visa and MasterCard, that are flaunting the ‘newfound’ and wondrous capabilities of biometrics to enable a ‘frictionless consumer experience,’ seem almost willingly ignorant to the inevitable impact biometrics will have on the future of their business.


Two Key Adoption Drivers of Biometrics: PIN/Password Replacement and ‘Stealth’ ID

GUEST POST: Will Biometrics Displace Global Payment Giants?

Stealth biometric capture has proven historically disastrous for the biometrics industry and it remains unclear what kind of backlash may occur when consumers discover this information is being captured and used without their knowledge or consent. Facebook is currently facing multiple lawsuits in the US and has had to turn-off features in the EU based on its own stealth use of biometric facial recognition.

Beyond these two drivers, the more compelling rational behind the embrace of biometrics by mainstream players ma