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Will biometrics be the future of payments?

Payments Dive

That approach could be costly for merchants, requiring added hardware or software at each store, and customers would have to be taught how to use it, said Jeff Fortney, a senior associate with payments consulting firm The Strawhecker Group, in June.

The path to broad adoption

The pace at which biometrics in payments could take off in the U.S. remains unclear. 

Some payments professionals pointed to the persistence of cash or the arduous adoption of chip cards. The latter were rolled out in 2015, and gas pumps just reached compliance this year. QR codes were used to make payments in India in the mid-2000s, but it took the pandemic to get consumers to use QR codes in the U.S.

“I’ve seen a lot of new technology that I thought would just be a game-changer, but it either didn’t have financial support or merchants weren’t going to do it,” Fortney said. “It’s going to be a 10-year cycle, in my opinion, before [biometrics] really makes an appearance.”