By Alastair Johnson, CEO and founder
2019 will be the year that biometrics payments go mainstream. Consumers are already used to the idea, thanks to payment apps like Apple Pay that use our phones’ biometric scanners, but this is just the start of things to come.
Fujitsu and Singapore-based Touché are currently trialling payment terminals that incorporate palm or finger scanning technology, and California’s CaliBurger is testing a system that lets customers serve themselves after linking their faces to loyalty cards.
The race to make shopping more convenient and as friction-less as possible will gather pace. Having to remember passwords and use PINs will become a thing of the past, so too will be having to fill in long online forms to make payments. Credit and debit cards will begin to feel outdated. Major players like Visa and Mastercard are already working hard to bolster our reliance on them, by working on fingerprint scanning cards. But technology is likely to leapfrog plastic cards altogether by enabling our biometrics to be directly linked to our accounts in 2019, allowing purchases to be authorised just by having those biometrics verified.
In 2019, there will be a proliferation of payment apps and wallets launched by brands, like the M&S Payment App & Walmart Pay, but the vast majority won’t get the take-up they need. The industry need a universally accepted payment wallet – for convenience, but also for security.
As consumers’ awareness of the value of their data grows, and data breaches continue at an alarming pace, consumers are more likely to gravitate towards brands and spend their money with retailers who actively go out of their way to protect their data, and save them from sharing details with hundreds of different retailers every year.
The emergence of sovereign payments solutions will be a big story in 2019. These are platforms that allows users to make payments to businesses online or offline without giving that information away to a third party. Advances in the fields of biometrics, blockchain technology and cryptography will make this possible.