Paytech and alternative payment methods are ever-evolving, with developments in biometrics fast becoming a payments game-changer. But questions remain around the security of such technology. Katharina Richter-Weiss, COO of PXP Financial, discusses the security advantages of emerging payment tech, and the importance of integrating it to meet changing consumer expectations.

There’s no doubt PayTech has forever changed the face of payments. Services such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Ali Pay demonstrate the rapid adoption of PayTech solutions, and research suggests new digital payment methods accounted for around 17% of non-cash transaction volume in 2021, with that share expected to climb to 28% of total volume by 2026.

Little wonder the PayTech sector was the third most active European FinTech subsector for seed deals in 2022.

The seemingly unstoppable rise of this sub-sector should prompt businesses to rethink payment strategies, or risk being left behind. By harnessing the latest payment technologies, they can enable seamless, invisible transactions that improve the customer experience, without compromising security.

The tech changing payments forever

From open banking, which is giving consumers greater control of their data, identity, and payments, to real-time payments (RTP) which are at an all-time high due to growing demand for instant money movement, innovations in payments are transforming the way we pay.

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) is another payment method that is now firmly established and looks set to expand, while digital wallets and super apps continue to reduce payment transaction fees and offer a single destination for consumers to manage their finances.

For businesses to survive the current economic crisis, it’s vital they understand the plethora of payment methods available, recognise which are favoured by their customer base, and choose an experienced payments partner to help integrate them into their offering. Businesses that embrace innovation will not only survive but thrive, taking an extra stride by anticipating the future needs of consumers and adopting new technologies to fulfil them.

Considering how contactless methods have been driving new waves of innovation in payments post-pandemic, buoyed by growing consumer demand for flexible, convenient and touchless transactions, it’s likely biometric payment cards will be the next evolution of contactless cards.

Not only do biometric payment cards promise to improve the card user experience by enabling consumers to validate a payment transaction, regardless of the amount, they boast the enhanced security that makes biometrics so appealing.

How biometrics can boost security

Nearly three years after Amazon introduced its Amazon One palm scanners, the company announced earlier this year its plans to deploy the technology in more than 500 of its Whole Foods locations, reducing grocery store checkouts to the wave of a hand.

Amazon’s “palm recognition service” identifies customers’ Amazon memberships and accepts payment for groceries without having to swipe or tap a phone, debit or credit card, or pay with cash. The next stage of functionality is the addition of age verification services, allowing customers to buy adult beverages — like beer at a sports event — just by hovering their palm over the Amazon One device. 

Although biometric technology is not a new concept, biometric payments like Amazon’s have started gaining traction – and hitting headlines - in recent years, and will play a key role in a contactless future, thanks to enhanced security.

Biometric data, such as fingerprints, iris scans, or facial recognition, are extremely difficult for fraudsters to replicate, and cannot be transferred or shared like passwords or credit cards. Biometric payments can also be used in combination with other factors like a PIN or token for added security. This is something PXP has led the way in, with our tokenisation service allowing any business wishing to remove sensitive card data held on its infrastructure to tokenise the information via our data centre.

Whatever the future of payments, the essential thing is to be prepared to anticipate the needs of the end user by integrating their preferred payment methods.

When you offer a variety of payment options at checkout, you turn browsers into buyers. At PXP Financial, we give local and global access to a wide variety of alternative payment options, such as Paypal, Venmo, and many more, and are experts in omni channel wallets; combining in-store and digital for a superior user experience and data collection.

If you’re ready to embrace new payment methods to increase reach and grow your business, we can help you build a frictionless commerce experience using the latest technology– whether it’s in-store, online, mobile, in-app, mail/phone purchase or a pay-by-link payment.