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VISA wants your face to be your password

Biometrics are the future of authentication according to the payments company.

The American financial services company, Visa, said that the payment industry will evolve to a ‘passwordless’ future in the coming five years. According to the company, biometry can be the future authentication standard owing to factors such as improved convenience and security.

“Over the last few years as mobile technology has evolved, we’re seeing increasingly biometrics included in mobile hardware — that’s really starting to take off as more and more banks and other providers start rolling out mobile payment solutions,” said Axel Boye-Moller, Visa head of product, to ZDNet.

Boye-Moller said that the payments ecosystem will become more secure as technologies such as AI and biometrics keep advancing. According to him, biometrics are a very “critical” part of ensuring passwordless payments as it is both secure and convenient.

He also referenced to current mobile payment methods and said that, “The way they rolled out [mobile payments] standards is that every single transaction that is done or adopted is biometrically authenticated with a fingerprint or facial recognition.”

Boye-Moller emphasized on the fact that security didn’t need to come at the cost of convenience and how biometrics is a perfect combination of both security and comfort.

While biometrics are a secure and comfortable option, there is a lot of groundwork involving securing many layers and solutions on top of biometrics to ensure foolproof transactions. A cross-industry collaboration is one of the fastest ways to reduce the current fraud rates and develop a robust password-free authentication system.

“But there are additional layers around it, so you start layering in things like transaction notifications so you get alerts as a consumer when your payment card is being used, things like card controls, setting parameters around, and perhaps even in what geographies your card can be used … those will help ensure that they continue to be able to shop securely and conveniently.”

While quoting Visa’s reduced fraud rates, he drove attention to how AI could help the company in both detecting and preventing payment fraud.

“We also use artificial intelligence through our own network to help detect and prevent fraud which we have had in place actually since 1993, but we keep evolving it. And for each Visa transaction, we can analyze in real-time — in about one millisecond — 500 or so different risk attributes on every single transaction to help determine whether that’s likely to be a fraudulent transaction or not,” said Boye-Moller.

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