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Billions of Smartphone Owners will soon be Authorizing Payments using Facial Recognition

(ZDNet) – The next few years will see billions of users regularly using facial recognition technology to secure payments made through their smartphone, tablets or smartwatches, according to new analysis carried out by Juniper Research.

Smartphone owners are already used to staring at their screens to safely unlock their devices without having to dial in a secret code; now, facial recognition will increasingly be deployed to verify the identity of a user making a payment with their handset, whether that’s via an app or directly in-store, in wallet mode.

In addition to facial features, Juniper Research’s analysts predict that a host of biometrics will be used to authenticate mobile payments, including fingerprint, iris and voice recognition. Biometric capabilities will reach 95% of smartphones globally by 2025, according to the researchers; by that time, users’ biological characteristics will be authenticating over $3 trillion-worth of payment transactions — up from $404 billion in 2020.

Mobile devices are increasingly used to replace credit cards, enabling users to leave their wallets at home even when visiting a shop, but also offering myriad new opportunities to make purchases online. From Instagram shopping to the Google Play store, the e-commerce ecosystem is growing rapidly — and at the same time, it’s opening many new avenues for fraudsters to exploit new vulnerabilities.

Using rogue apps, malevolent actors can trick users into letting them handle financial payments, for example, while synthetic data and deepfakes can be used to commit synthetic identity payment fraud. This is why it’s vital to ensure that when a payment is made, the user spending money is who they say they are.

And that’s why biometrics are becoming critical to improving the security of mobile payments, with facial recognition, in particular, set to grow in popularity. But not all technologies are created equal: Juniper’s analysts effectively draw a line between software-based and hardware-based facial recognition tools. Read Full Article >

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