Beastly Beta Test: Biometrics To Replace NFC Payments

Sunday, August 7, 2011
By Paul Martin

Biometrics may hold more potential than NFC payments

Developers for mobile technology such as Google’s Android operating system have been trying to bring near field communication (NFC), or a means of utilizing basic authentication and personal devices to pay for items instead of cash or credit cards, according to a technology review article.

While such technology has become commonplace in some Asian countries, Americans have yet to get on board, though some experts are banking on the biometric technologies status as emerging technology for consumers to take over in the fight for “walletless” payments.

An example of such technology is the PalmSecure line of palm vein scanners developed by biometrics company Fujitsu. Among the reason PalmSecure is singled out is that it requires no more involvement on the side of the user than NFC technology insofar as a user simply waves his hand in front of the scanner to have it contaclessly authenticates his identity or accounts associated with it.

So far the technology has found a home in health care as a tool for patient identification and in schools to allow students to pay for food in the cafeterias without having to remember PINS or cards.

In addition to the technology being comparable in use to NFC-enabled devices, experts see vascular biometrics as particularly secure as it authenticates by taking a picture of the unique vein pattern in one’s palm via near-UV light; a process that requires living tissue and cannot be plainly viewed or stolen by a fraudster.

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