Mobile payments are today imposing themselves in the era of the continuous digital transformation in retail and e-commerce. They are equally steadily moving away from physical bank cards, standing alone. Even if they embody an unrivaled level of convenience, users stay cautious, demanding a likewise level of security. To dispel these fears and add a strong layer of security, mobile payments are now being coupled with biometrics.
Biometrics represents a layer of security that cannot be copied
Biometrics is a unique way of binding a transaction to an individual. It can be either morphological or biological. The main types consist of fingerprints, hand shapes, finger shapes, vein patterns, the eye (iris and retina), and the shape of the face. DNA, blood, saliva or urine may be used by medical teams and police forensics for biological analyses. For instance, a new credit card can be obtained and can even be hacked if the security levels are low, but biometrics cannot be altered or copied. The voice, the face, the fingerprint and the palm of an individual are his unique features that a hacker cannot get hold of. Thus, when biometrics is combined with a transaction, the authenticity of the transaction itself is flawless.
The biometric landscape is evolving rapidly too. New algorithms and hardware are infiltrating the market rapidly. With such advances devices and systems are being revamped: for example, the whites of the eyes of a user might be compared to the way he or she executes keystrokes, or even combined with the way he or she walks. If some years ago people experienced a sense of fear regarding the use of their biometric data, the reality is that any enterprise wants exactly the opposite. It is, indeed, in their best interest to secure the biometric data of everyone concerned, from employees to consumers. The use of biometrics in the Internet of Things (IoT) is also taken seriously as no organization or company would want to have its consumer trust eroded at various levels as this can trigger a series of negative repercussions at business level.
Decentralized authentication is the solution to secure personal data
To avoid personal data being caught up in mass credentials breach, it is recommended to implement a decentralized authentication system. This means that personal credentials should not be stored on a server for them not to be vulnerable to breaches. A decentralized model is way more trustworthy and businesses are increasingly becoming more conscious about this, ready to make the shift.
In a decentralized model, user data is stored safely on devices and is never stored in a centralized database or transferred over the Internet. When a user’s biometric data is stored on his or her device, all that is transmitted over the Internet is done as a secure token. Pairing public-key cryptography and biometrics provides the highest level of security and usability. The transaction environment is, hence, a trustworthy one. The outcome is definitely a win-win situation for all parties implicated.
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