Biometrics in Payments—Dropping our Collective Masks

Posted by Mark Ranta on 29 Jun 2021

This isn’t a discussion on the benefits of masks… but instead, how to look forward in the payments space, particularly as faces start to re-emerge and one no longer needs to pay with their passcode at the POS (and beyond). Let’s talk about the state of the biometrics space and what we can all collectively look forward to as our payment roadmaps kick back into high gear! Here are the top five trends we’re watching: 

Facial Recognition Payments

Probably the easiest and most broadly used biometric payment methods today in the U.S. are Google Pay and Apple Pay. I know there are a lot of added features beyond just the biometric capabilities of FaceID and Google’s facial recognition and fingerprint capabilities. But the value of just being able to pay by scanning your facial features is something we’ve all missed at the point of sale, and now it’s part of the Orbipay platform as well, making the payment as simple as looking at your phone. 

Vein Scanning Payments

Hitachi’s Finger Vein Technology is one that definitely makes you think of a science fiction novel, but it’s actually real life, and it’s been in-market for about as long as the iPad. The vein scanning technology has evolved and became significantly cheaper over time. While banks have been using it in branches in some European and Asian markets for some time, it still hasn’t gained significant traction in the U.S. More to come in this space for sure, especially as the technology hops to mobile devices vs. physical scanners, but for now, we’ll categorize this in the “emerging” category. 

Palm Reading

Amazon One Capabilities - The palm has a whole new meaning in payments… it’s now a secure way of paying at the Amazon Go stores. By leveraging your palm at the point of sale, you’ll be able to pull up the saved payment method and carry on your way. 

Voice Recognition

Much has changed since the “Big Boy” days of voice recognition software and horrible IVR experiences of yesteryear. Today, voice recognition is an extremely secure way to pay, with integration into Amazon Alexa or Google Home. Being able to authenticate oneself via voice recognition and then execute a transaction or complete an order has never been easier. Having a plan to integrate voice recognition in place is certainly a must-have method of payments.

Behavioral Biometrics

Another area that gets a little less focus but is just as important is the behavioral aspect of authentication. Keystroking, or how a consumer enters information on a keyboard, actually has associated identifying markers. Technology can use machine learning to identify the habits of consumers—when they log in, keystrokes, swipe patterns, scroll speed, etc.—and flag discrepancies as possible fraud. How much money consumers regularly move is also on the behavioral spectrum, though maybe just outside our biometric topic. 

At the end of the day, many of these items may still seem foreign to us. But relying on a password and username is no longer enough. As our lives accelerated in the digital space over the course of the pandemic, it’s going to be hard to put that contactless experience back in the box, and biometrics is a key to keeping those experiences secure and safe for all of us. So whether you wink, nod, wave, or smile, expect biometrics to be part of your payment experience. 

More on security in The Swift Approach to Payments Security.

Today’s legacy and siloed banking technology infrastructure limit financial institutions’ ability to rapidly innovate. It’s time to look at money movement in a new way. Alacriti’s Orbipay Unified Money Movement Services does just that. Whether it’s real-time payments, digital disbursements, or bill pay, our cloud-based platform enables banks and credit unions to quickly and seamlessly deliver modern digital payments and money movement experiences. To speak to an Alacriti payments expert, please call us at (908) 791-2916 or email

Stay connected. Get the latest delivered to your inbox.
Mark Ranta Payments Practice Lead Mark is responsible for working with our market partners and financial institution customers discussing, exploring, and examining market trends and key drivers in the evolving digital payment space. Prior to joining Alacriti, Mark's nearly 15 year career has been focused entirely on the banking and payments space, working for solution providers and research firms supporting both the corporate and consumer banking markets. Mark is a Certified Treasury Professional and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Lafayette College.

Related Articles

  • 14 Jun 2022 Blog How Do the Underbanked Pay Their Bills?

  • 08 Jun 2022 Blog Real-Time Payments Without Borders

  • 06 Jun 2022 Blog Accepting Online Donations: 4 Things to Know