Replacing passwords with irreplaceable biometrics: Visa’s new platform

Replacing passwords with irreplaceable biometrics: Visa’s new platform

Payments network Visa announced this week that it is launching a platform that will allow banks to use biometric checks, of fingerprint, face or voice, to check card applications and payments.

The company says the move should benefit consumers who are growing increasingly frustrated by an antiquated password system.

Cyber security experts agree that biometric tests are a significantly more secure form of authentication than passwords, but warn that they come with a downside.

If your fingerprint, iris scan or other biometric is compromised in a data breach, how will it be replaced?

Etienne Greeff, chief technology officer and co-founder of cyber security consultancy SecureData, told Computing magazine that biometrics should be used with caution.

“The general perception is that biometric security – iris scans, fingerprints and voice recognition – is inherently secure because it’s taking something you are, something that never changes, and using it as a means to access your accounts to verify your identity,” he said.

“While this is significantly more secure than using passwords, which have been shown to be a very poor form of authentication, a few caveats apply. The person using the authentication data has a big responsibility to store the data in a secure fashion.

“If we think about a ‘normal’ breach, for example when a password is hacked, it’s easy to reset your password or change the security settings. It’s also relatively easy to recover from one of these threats.”

Visa is using technology from Daon to integrate biometrics into the Visa ID Intelligence platform. It claims that the service will enable banks to offer near-instant card account and approvals, along with secure payments.

The bank app could ask applicants for credit cards to take a selfie and then take a picture of their driver’s license or passport, which could be compared and checked for validity.

The service is available as part of the Visa Developer Platform, providing developers with access to a host of third-party authentication technologies that work with Visa APIs and SDKs.

Via says this should enable users to create, test and roll-out biometric authentication quickly and relatively inexpensively. The company is also working on new user data and device data services, which will launch in 2018.

Current features include the ability to identify documents and match photo IDs to selfies, using eye, face and fingerprint biometrics for quick authentication and quick customer information comparisons.

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Source: Loss and Prevention News