Amazon has filed a patent application for technology that will allow users to authenticate a payment using a photo or video in a seamless way that doesn’t necessarily require passwords.
“The user is identified using image information which is processed utilising facial recognition. The device verifies that the image information corresponds to a living human using one or more human-verification processes,” the patent reads.
“Biometric vendors are experiencing tremendous growth on the back of the escalation of consumer-led adoption of biometric security. The adoption for payment purposes is a major contributor to this growth and Goode Intelligence forecasts that by 2020 it will contribute US$5.6 billion in revenue from $5.6 trillion worth of payments for companies involved in delivering biometric systems to the payments industry.”
The full report from Goode Intelligence is available here.
Here’s how it works: Visa’s new architecture enables fingerprints to be securely accepted by a biometric reader, encrypted, and then validated. The specification supports “match-on-card” authentication where the EMV chip card validates the biometric so that it is never exposed or stored in any central databases. Issuers can optionally validate the biometric data within their secure systems for transactions occurring in their own environments, such as their own ATMs.
MasterCard and First Tech Federal Credit Union, a US financial institution, will pilot the authentication of payments using facial and fingerprint recognition, in what they claim is a first for the country.
Separately, MasterCard is running another biometrics trial with International Card Services (ICS), the leading credit card provider in the Netherlands.
MasterCard announced on Thursday that it’s looking to add a layer of biometric security to its credit cards and all user will need to do is simply take a selfie. The system will create a digitized map of your face, convert that map into a hash and compare it to the hash stored on Mastercard’s servers.
He says external body methods like fingerprints are “antiquated”, and that internal body functions like heartbeat and vein recognition using embedded and ingestible devices are the future, to allow “natural body identification”. LeBlanc says internal devices could include brain implants, and that ingestible devices could be powered by stomach acid that runs batteries.
Time will tell, I guess, but user acceptance has been has been a big issue for identity management solutions using biometrics. A bank asking customers to put something in their body in order to access their money would seem to be of another character entirely.
Perhaps the analysis is meant to provide a perspective on what far-distant ID management technologies will look like. Even then, with the exponential growth of the computing power in “externally carried computers” i.e. smartphones, it’s hard to see how gaining a foot or so of proximity distance by moving the token inside the body lowers error rates enough to justify the mess.
The subtext is this, though:
“We know how to identify machines. People are a pain. If we can just turn the people into enough of a machine, all our problems are solved.” In other words, engineering! There’s a problem here, though. If you turn the machines into people, the machines will probably get harder to identify.
The announcement came by way of Jack Ma, the CEO of Alipay’s parent company Alibaba, who provided a few details in a speech at the Cebit trade fair in Germany.
Ma explained the development as a solution to the difficulties associated with online paymetns, which he called “a big headache,” adding, “You forget your password, you worry about your security.” He went on to say that in its facial recognition system, Alipay will offer users “a new technology.”
So next year the card is going to make its debut in Britain, a country that seems to have recently come around to the benefits of biometric technology, having fully embraced biometric airport screening after a disastrous initial go of it a decade ago. The fingerprint scanners in MasterCard’s new credit cards are, of course, for authentication purposes, and will replace the PIN system currently in use in Britain.
The National Service Scheme announced a change in the mode of payment of allowances last week, saying from January 2015 payment of allowances to all national service personnel at post shall be effected through the biometric e-zwich platform.
This is to ensure that payments are made directly to national service personnel by cutting down on the existing long chain of effecting payments.
“The adoption of biometrics is on an exponential curve and is largely as a result of the financial services and payments industry,” said Dunstone.
The core uses of biometric data to date have been largely confined to government agencies such as passports and visa application processing as well as in policing but the technology is now starting to be adopted in consumer level devices.
Until making a mobile payment becomes faster than using a credit card, mobile payments will be stuck in low gear. And the key to making mobile payments fast is to use biometrics to solve the authentication problem and eliminate the need for consumers to enter a password.
[…]Alibaba has announced a way to make its payments service Alipay even more secure on a smartphone — with the introduction of fingerprinting technology in a deal that it inked with smartphone manufacturer Huawei.
Customers can use their finger to pay with PayPal from their new Samsung Galaxy S5 because the FIDO Ready software on the device securely communicates between the fingerprint sensor on their device and PayPal’s service in the cloud. The only information the device shares with PayPal is a unique encrypted key that allows PayPal to verify the identity of the customer without having to store any biometric information on PayPal’s servers”
Spain, February 24, 2014 – Samsung Electronics today announced the fifth generation of the Galaxy S series, the Galaxy S5, designed for what matters most to consumers. The new Galaxy S5 offers consumers a refined experience with innovation of essential features for day-to-day use.
Essential device protection The Galaxy S5 is IP67 dust and water resistant. It also offers a Finger Scanner, providing a secure, biometric screen locking feature and a seamless and safe mobile payment experience to consumers. The Ultra Power Saving Mode turns the display to black and white, and shuts down all unnecessary features to minimize the battery consumption.
The device will be available globally through Samsung’s retail channels, e-commerce and carriers on April.
More information is available at the Samsung site here.
See also this video.
The fingerprint scanner comes in for a couple of mentions in the first half.