Visa is moving full steam ahead with getting rid of the password, embracing biometrics more fully. In a blog post, the credit card company announced it has partnered with BioConnect, a biometric identity platform provider, to show off an authentication process that avoids the need for a password altogether and works across a slew of devices and operating systems.
According to Visa, by enabling multiple biometric technologies — be it a fingerprint sensor, an iris scan or facial recognition — an app will prompt another biometric technology to kick in when the default method fails. That would overcome some of the biometric hurdles, like a wet fingerprint or a facial recognition fail because of extreme lighting.
In practice, multiple biometrics on one device could mean checking banking with sweaty fingers after the gym won’t be a problem. “With the Visa/BioConnect technology collaboration, presented on the main stage at this year’s Money20/20, you can use an alternative biometric, such as speaking into your phone’s microphone to authenticate by voice, giving you a convenient, keyboard-less alternative to entering a complex alphanumeric passcode,” wrote Mark Nelsen, senior vice president of risk and authentication products, in a blog post. “With multiple types of biometrics supported by an app, it becomes possible to make the password a thing of the past.”
Nelsen went on to say that enabling a wide range of authentication capabilities is part of Visa’s broader strategy to make payments securer and more convenient for people to use. “This approach means taking into account the unique preferences, habits and cultural attitudes of our billions of cardholders around the globe,” the company said. “It means factoring in the needs and capabilities of our stakeholders in different markets and providing flexible solutions that work in a range of contexts. In short, there is no global, one-size-fits-all approach, which is why Visa is not choosing a single biometric solution or implementation. Rather, we’re focused on enabling a broad range of technologies to address the varied needs of Visa’s clients and cardholders worldwide.”