credit card, government, ID assurance, ID management, payments

Biometrics and the Future of Payments

One of these two articles talks about payments to the individual from a source of income, the other talks about payments from an individual to a retail establishment — in this case a convenience store. The organizations on both sides of the individual envision adopting biometric identity management techniques as a growing part of payment authentication.

MasterCard notes growing trend in Govt Adoption of Electronic Payments (IndiaInfoline)

“By supporting governments around the world with electronic payment programs we are helping save money and improve efficiencies, but more importantly, together we are opening up a world of inclusion for those who have previously not had access to traditional financial services,” said Tim Murphy, Chief Products Officer of MasterCard Worldwide.

SASSA recipients are now able to use debit cards, issued by Net1 and Grindrod Bank, to pay for goods and to check their account balances free of charge. A key feature of the card is biometric functionality used to identify grant recipients using unique identifiers such as fingerprints, facial and voice recognition to prevent stolen card usage. The new system is already dramatically reducing SASSA’s operating costs and is expected to save the government more than ZAR3 billion (USD 360 million) over the next five years.

Next-Generation Tech Gains Traction (Convenience Store News)

Payment Systems & Automation
In-store payment systems for the majority of c-store chains include credit and debit (96 percent), prepaid/stored value card (48.4 percent) and electronic benefits transfer (42.2 percent). Less popular are electronic check verification, used by 32.8 percent of chains and continuing to decrease in popularity every year, and radio frequency identification (RFID) or contactless cards, adopted by 17.2 percent. Also, only 3.1 percent report using self-checkout and just 1.6 percent say they have biometric payment technology.

However, when asked what technology c-store retailers plan to implement in the next one to three years, RFID/contactless tops the list, with 12.5 percent contemplating the technology, followed by self-checkout (10.9 percent) and biometric payment (10.9 percent).

I highly recommend the Convenience Store News article. It’s full of charts and tables and it really gives the reader an appreciation for the complexity and efficiency required in that market. In order to be convenient, the stores have to be small all other decisions flow from there.

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