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Biometrics can boost mobile payment security

Over 60% of smartphone users did not not use a PIN to protect their mobile access in 2011

By CBR Staff Writer

Biometrics is expected to boost mobile payment security as they offer high levels of security and an instinctive customer experience, according to a new report.

Frost & Sullivan’s latest report suggests the usage of biometrics would improve security as the number of payments done via mobile devices has risen.

The analysts said that during a ‘card not present’ process, a personal account number (PAN), expiration date, and card validation code (CVC) are not enough to completely secure a transaction.

Frost & Sullivan Global Program Director Jean-Noel Georges said that protecting the mobile device itself is a first step, necessary to secure mobile payments.

"Although a personal identification number (PIN) can do the job, in 2011 more than 60% of smartphone users were not using a PIN to protect their mobile access," Georges said.

Several biometric projects have been developed that are aimed at enabling user identification on mobile devices.

"The time is now right for biometric technology to emerge as a secure solution for mobile applications that require high levels of security, particularly payment," Georges added.

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"From a pure-payment security point of view, biometrics has already delivered significant advantages.

"One potential mobile development could have a huge impact on biometric security solutions; rumours persist that the next iPhone will include a fingerprint sensor. Given that Apple acquired Authentec – with its TouchChip product family – in 2012, this is a strong possibility."

According to the research firm, the use of biometrics user would be the unique key to device, application, and payment security.

However, the end user would still require time to deploy the new process of interacting with his or her device, the report said.

"We expect to see biometrics becoming increasingly prevalent over the course of the next 3-4 years, driven by a desire among vendors and consumers alike to be better protected when accessing mobile services," Georges added.

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