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Will Biometrics be the Future of Payments?

Payments Dive

The use of biometrics to authenticate payments is poised to bring greater security and speed to transactions, but some say broad adoption by consumers and merchants is still far from reach.

In the mid-2000s, when biometrics in payments was still a mysterious notion, a company called Solidus Networks developed a finger-reader for payments that was trotted out at grocery chains such as Jewel-Osco.  

It allowed shoppers to pay at a Pay By Touch terminal with the touch of a finger. That payment method – which arrived a decade prior to a similar product, TouchID on Apple iPhones – failed to gain traction, and Solidus filed for bankruptcy in 2007. 

“At that point in time, biometrics was just really an alien concept,” said Thad Peterson, a strategic adviser with consulting firm Aite-Novarica.