The Visa Plan To Let Us Forget Passwords

by Tim Sloane 0


This Forbes article doesn’t offer specifics regarding how Visa intends to eliminate passwords. While stating that Visa released a biometric SDK and a biometric card, it doesn’t identify how Visa will enable these biometric to provide access to non-Visa apps or web sites. It also doesn’t discuss standards, such as FIDO, that represent methods for accomplishing these goals. It does identify Visa technologies under investigation:

“Visa promotes biometric authentication as an alternative to passwords, PINs and signatures. They even have an SDK (software development kit) that allows developers to use their emerging technology. Biometrics refers to body measurements and calculations. Fingerprint scanning and voice recognition are examples of biometric authentication.

Visa conducted a survey with the help of AYTM Market Research in 2017. I spoke to Mark Nelsen, SVP of Risk and Authentication Products at Visa, about the study and what they’re working on.

“You know, 86% of consumers really are interested in using Biometrics to verify their identity,” Nelsen revealed. Even if the technology is ready, it doesn’t mean consumers are prepared to change their habits. Advanced payment methods like Apple Pay and Google Pay don’t have widespread adoption in every market.

Nelsen predicts, “In some markets, absolutely, mobile will be the predominant way that you pay, and in other markets, it may take a lot longer.” It’s generational to some extent. If you grew up paying with cash and credit cards, it’s harder to break the habit.

Nelsen says, “There are many ways that you’ll be able to pay without using a card. And that is absolutely the future.” Some of these emerging technologies are exciting. Given the popularity of virtual assistants, authenticating transactions through voice recognition is appealing.

Visa even released a contactless credit card that allows you to scan your fingerprint at the point of sale. Your fingerprint is validated when it touches the card’s scanner. People hold credit cards with their thumbs and forefingers anyway, so it’s easy to imagine widespread adoption for the product.”

The rest of the article reviews the challenges associated with consumer adoption.

Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group

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