Access denied! Advancements in biometric technology will better secure your business transactions in the near future.

We’re all familiar with biometric technology. Facial recognition is already widely used, from opening a smartphone to passing borders using e-passports and ID-cards that contain biometric data. 

But what does the future of biometrics in payments look like? And how can it enhance your business’ data security in the coming years?

A staggering 80% of hacking-related breaches are due to compromised credentials like passwords and other sensitive data, Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report showed. The use of biometrics can improve protection against cyberattacks and payment fraud.

It’s no wonder that adoption of biometrics in payments is moving at a fast pace. The global market for biometric payments is forecasted to grow 100% between 2024 and 2028, according to analyst Juniper Research. Biometric payments on mobile devices alone could already reach $3 trillion in transactions worldwide in 2025, up from $404 billion in 2020. 

But what does the future of biometrics look like in the payments landscape? And how far are we in the adoption of biometrics? In this in-depth article, we cover:

  • The evolution of biometric technology
  • Future applications of biometrics in payments
  • Challenges in biometric security
  • Preparing for the (near) future of biometrics

Read on to find out all about the future of biometric authentication in payments. 

[How up-to-date is your payments system? Schedule a free assessment with Berkeley Payments and learn how to integrate secure real-time payments into your business.]

The evolution of biometric technology

Biometric technology has come a long way. No longer Star Trek science fiction, biometric data now includes all kinds of physical characteristics, from fingerprint recognition to more subtle identifiers like typing patterns.

These technological advances in biometric technology are increasing the accuracy, speed, and reliability in verifying user identity. 

With these improvements, what is the future of biometrics in security and authentication systems – whether for secure access to medical records, making a payment, or any type of sensitive data?

We can break down technological advancements into three big trends happening right now and that are shaping the future of biometric security:

1. From single to multimodal authentication

One of the biggest shifts that we’ll see in the future of biometric authentication is the move from using a single identifier to multi-factor authentication (or MFA) combining different biometric data

Combining a password with fingerprint scanning or facial recognition is already popular, with both technologies commonplace in smartphones. 81% of smartphones possessed biometric capabilities in 2022, according to tech company Cisco’s DUO Trusted Access Report. MFA apps like Duo Push, which requires both a password and biometric authentication for login, see increased use. 

Source: Cisco

As technologies advance and make their way into consumer products, rich biometric data becomes readily available for use in multi-factor authentication that combines facial recognition, voice analytics, iris scanning, and even walk recognition. This offers better security and responds to individual preferences.

2. From one-time to continuous authentication

Another interesting development we can expect in the future of biometric security is the move from one-time to continuous authentication. 

For now most biometric systems authenticate a user's identity at a single point in time – like when logging in or initiating a transaction. This is called Single-Sign-On (SSO). The future of biometric security is moving towards constant authentication during a session or transaction. Compared to SSO, continuous authentication can detect anomalies in real-time, adding an extra layer of protection against account takeovers or unauthorized access.

Continuous authentication is an evolving field that leans on other technological advancements like machine learning and artificial intelligence

These technologies let authentication systems adapt and learn new patterns and behaviors, increasing accuracy and reducing false positives in a self-learning process. By constantly refining the algorithms that underlie these cybersecurity systems, continuous authentication can adapt to changing user habits and stay ahead of evolving cyberattack threats.

3. From active to silent authentication

An extension of continuous authentication, silent authentication uses behavioral biometrics to identify a user. Perhaps it’s the way they type, swipe on a touchscreen, or even hold their smartphone. 

Using this biometric data, authentication systems can perform identity verification without the user having to actively provide biometric information. Instead, the continuous authentication capabilities of the future obtain this data themselves through machine learning and artificial intelligence. 


Silent authentication creates a frictionless user experience where identity verification is based on natural interaction, all while maintaining high security standards. 

These new authentication methods will become more prominent in financial services in the coming years, as biometrics integrate with the payments landscape to provide safer and easier transactions. 

So how does this future of biometrics technology in payments look like in terms of use cases? 

Applications of biometrics in payments

As biometric technologies mature, integrating them into payments systems will change the way we transact. These four examples show how quickly the integration of biometric systems can become mainstream for retailers and in-store payments.

1. Pay-by-palm services are taking off

The adoption of palm biometric payments is gaining momentum across various sectors, led by retailers, financial services institutions, fintechs, and tech companies. 

Amazon debuted its One Enterprise palm-based ID-service late last year, online publication PYMNTS covered. This contactless biometric access control tool provides access to places such as offices, airports, hotels and educational institutions. Soon after, Amazon started rolling out the device in Whole Foods locations, pledging to have 500 stores ready for payment by palm recognition. 

Other companies are following suit, with Visa showcasing its pay-by-palm biometric payment technology earlier this year.

2. Advancements in multimodal payments

Palm payments aren’t the only biometric system making it into retail shops. Mastercard is doubling down on biometrics, as the credit card company sees biometrics for in-store payments as a part of a broader shift towards seamless interactions of all kinds.

The company’s Biometric Checkout Program provides customers with the option to either pay by face recognition or palm scan, opening up to combine different physical characteristics for stronger MFA authentication. 

3. ATM interactions using biometrics

ATM machines are continually under siege. A sharp 96% increase in compromised debit cards in 2023 due to skimming fraud was tracked by the data analytics firm FICO. The FBI estimates that skimming costs financial institutions and consumers more than $1 billion each year.

Various ATM machines that use biometrics have been proposed throughout the years, from iris recognition to face scans and fingerprints. These authentication methods provide an additional layer of security and a much needed defense against the payment fraud that is affecting US ATMs. 

In this case, the future of biometrics in banking doesn’t necessarily involve biometric data replacing payment cards. Instead, scanning physical characteristics provides a means of KYC (or authenticating a customer) who can then use their payment card or have increased access over their account.

4. Fingerprint-enabled credit and debit cards

Biometric payment cards incorporate biometric data directly in the card. They use biometric chip technology to scan a user’s fingerprint for payment authentication.

The beauty of this technology is that the biometric data and biometric processing are contained within the card, making for both a seamless experience and a secure authentication method. 

These four use cases show that the future of biometrics in payments is on our doorstep, with biometric systems being used to improve payments in various ways. Before these authentication methods will be widely adopted, however, some key challenges need to be addressed.

Challenges in biometric security

Biometric systems offer a secure way of identity verification that guards against cyberattacks and spoofing. Nonetheless, biometrics aren’t fool-proof if the biometric data is not handled with care.

"Integrating identity and biometric security measures can strengthen overall protection, yet it's vital to navigate carefully, addressing privacy issues and potential vulnerabilities for a well-rounded approach to security,” cautioned Lorri Janssen-Anessi, director of external cyber assessments at cyber defense company BlueVoyant. 

“A challenge with biometric and identity security systems is the potential risk of data breaches leading to compromised personal and business information,” Janssen-Anessi further commented in a Forbes article.

future of biometrics

About two-thirds of global consumers say biometrics is more secure than a PIN or password, yet 71% are concerned about which parties have access to their biometric data, Mastercard’s 2022 data indicated

These concerns seem to be well-founded. For instance, last year Meta was ordered to pay $68.5 million in a class action lawsuit settlement for improperly storing biometric data and violating GDPR regulations.

Wary of privacy concerns, 42 percent of US consumers say they do not trust tech companies to safeguard their biometric data, according to developer GetApp’s 2024 Biometric Technologies Survey. That percentage nearly doubled from 22 percent in 2022.

Echoing this mistrust, consumers are less comfortable sharing biometric data in 2024 than they were in 2022. 

Source: Getapp

It’s clear biometric systems can’t hit wide scale adoption without an improvement in consumer sentiment.

So how can tech companies and payment providers solve this trust issue and improve on security measures concerning sensitive data like biometrics?

Pairing biometrics with cryptography

A key issue of corporations like large retailers using biometric data for payments versus consumers using, say, facial recognition systems to pay with the digital wallet on their phone lies in 

The advantage is that your template, or your reference biometric, is always stored in the phone, which is with you,” which is highly secure, said Anil Jain, a computer scientist and professor at Michigan State University, when interviewed by online journal Payments Dive.

“There is always a worry that somebody may either break into the central storage or, during the transmission of the data from the point-of-sale to the cloud, somebody may intercept your data,” Jain said. 

The solution to a single point of failure? Cryptography, the professor explains. “That’s why Amazon and other large companies ensure biometric data is encrypted, so even if it’s intercepted, it’s secure.”

future of biometrics

Preparing for the biometric future of payment

The future of biometrics in payments approaches fast, with promises of enhanced security and seamless user experiences. Businesses today can already use biometric data to secure their transactions and keep users safe.

To adopt these biometric solutions, businesses should assess their current payment infrastructure, identify integration points and privacy concerns, and assess what biometric technology can be implemented to what end.  

Partnering with a trusted technology provider helps you identify your payment needs and navigate the transition to a biometric future.

[Don’t let your business fall behind in security or payment speed. Explore Berkeley Payments' payment solutions and seamlessly integrate safe, real-time payments with your existing systems.]

Send, Spend & Receive With One Exceptional Payments Platform

Find out how Berkeley Payment can add value to your business with white-label prepaid or debit card programs and real-time money movement solutions.

Arrange a quick call with our team to see how we can best help your company

Schedule my complimentary assessment
<< Previous Post
No previous post
Next Post>>
No next post