Tech Target.com define bio-metrics in the payments context as ” a point-of-sale technology that uses bio-metric authentication to identify the user and authorize the deduction of funds from a bank account.”
Bio-metric payments today are typically generated through a mobile or wearable device and use two-factor authentication methods, such as personal identification numbers (PINs) and fingerprints, to qualify transactions. Most such devices are also equipped with contactless payment technology, which is designed to safely pass data from one device to another without the friction of entering numbers, swiping mag-stripe cards or inserting (sometimes called dipping) smart cards.
Consumer adoption of bio-metric payment methods has been relatively slow. This is particularly true in the United States and other countries where card-based payments are still preferred. However, adoption of devices that employ bio-metrics is on the rise, and experts are predicting the widespread adoption of bio-metric payments will soon follow.
Now that embedded wallets and contactless payment capabilities are being built into bio-metric wearable, consumer curiosity for bio-metric payments is likely to turn into market demand. However, the average merchant’s inability to accept payments made from biometric devises is a significant barrier. Even if today’s consumers were ready to adopt bio-metric payments more readily, they would still have to carry credit and debit cards, since so few merchants are ready to accept these payments.