B2B Payments

Connecting The Voice To B2B Payments

The movement toward secure banking and B2B transactions is one that embraces digital payments. One way to ensure security is, of course, for enterprises to adopt new technologies that verify the parties involved in a transaction are who they say they are.

One cutting-edge technology that is gaining some traction among enterprises is biometric authentication. As the name implies, such security measures use unique characteristics that are confined to an individual — think retina scans, fingerprints and … voice.

It is the latter — voice recognition — that is the hallmark of a recent partnership announced by biometric authentication firms BioConnect and VoiceVault, which integrates the latter’s voice recognition software into the former’s BioConnect Identity Platform. The Identity Platform is a mobile offering that runs the gamut from voice to eye-scanning authentication tools.

In interviews with PYMNTS, executives from both firms noted that the overarching barrier to more widespread adoption of biometrics comes as enterprises find a fair amount of friction in bringing such security measures on board. Bianca Lopes, BioConnect’s vice president of strategic marketing and global alliances, told PYMNTS that, with payments of size between corporates and across different payments rails (for example, ACH), “if you are sending a wire, you can’t afford to make mistakes.” The initial rollout, said Lopes, focuses on North America as banks begin to integrate biometrics into what she termed applications that are “run of the mill.” Higher-value payments need additional levels of control, especially across mobile applications.

Julia Webb, vice president of sales and marketing at VoiceVault, said in a separate interview that there is a trend toward “multi-factor verification that can help get rid of passwords” and that can add different layers of biometric modalities, across iOS and Android devices.

Noting that, within the B2B arena, high-value transactions can run up and down supply chains, Webb said that biometric authentication can be set at certain thresholds, with certain modalities (read: biometrics) in place given certain risk profiles. The end aim is to reduce fraud, of course, but also to reduce friction in verifying, for example, purchase orders. Webb also noted that the integration of the biometrics capabilities through an API helps eliminate friction at the actual point of technology deployment.

The ability to add security beyond that of the traditional password process, said Webb, means that only stakeholders involved in the payments process have the ability to authorize and execute payments. The biometrics modalities, said Webb, help ensure that, for example, employees can’t access passwords and take them with them after leaving a firm.

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