Visa’s new ‘biometric payment’ strategy to stop fraud with a fingerprint

As credit cards are expected to become the shopping sidekicks for many Aussies this December, it’s no surprise that fraud is on the brain for payment giant, Visa.

Within a year, Aussie shoppers will be able to make “biometric” payments, using their fingerprint or face as payment authorisation for purchases over $100.

Visa has now issued new standards to banks and technology companies, informing them that cardholders will no longer need to use a personal identification number (PIN) when making purchases in-person.

Instead, cardholders will be able to use their smartphones to take a scan of their face or fingerprint.

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According to the 2017 Australian Payment Frauds report, ‘card-not-present’ (CNP) fraud has increased to $417.6 million, up from $363 million in 2015. In fact, card-not present fraud accounted for 78% of fraud in Aussie plastic during 2016.

CNP fraud involves stealing correct card details to make a purchase or payment without a credit card present - this is usually done over the phone or online.

"Five years ago, the idea that entering a PIN could become a rare experience would have been almost unbelievable," said Joe Cunningham, Visa Asia Pacific Head of Risk.  

Online shoppers will also receive a security upgrade as Visa will be improving their systems that track online fraudulent transactions, which they believe will be able to sort through 10 times as much data shared between banks and merchants.

“How we pay is changing fundamentally and security needs to move at the same speed. Biometrics are a crucial part of the future,” said Cunningham.

This payment option is currently only available to those with a “digital wallet”, where a smartphone is used to make a payment.

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However, as the banks continue to keep up with an evolving, digital world, Mozo’s Data Manager, Peter Marshall believes that it's not just about providing savvy services to customers. 

“Australians are early adopters of technology and with increased competition from the fintech sector,  banks will need to offer customers these kind of innovative services if they want ongoing customer loyalty,” he said.

Only yesterday, ANZ announced ‘Garmin Pay’ - a wearable payment service that allows ANZ customers to pair their Garmin vívoactive 3 devices with their smartphone to make payments, which is also offered by NAB and Commbank. This is not to be confused with Westpac’s PayWear, which also provides contactless payments through watches or fitness trackers.

But while the country prepares to adjust and adapt to Visa’s new payment methods, it’s never a bad idea to refresh your card safety knowledge. You can check out out quick tips down below and have a browse of our credit card comparison tool to find out how your plastic compares on the innovation scale.

How to practise card safety

  • Do not disclose your password or PIN to anyone
  • Never reveal your bank details over the phone or email
  • Regularly go through your bank statement and check for irregularities
  • Avoid shopping on websites that don’t have the ‘padlock’ symbol at the front of the URL

What to do if you think you've been a victim of credit card fraud

  • If you notice a series of unusual purchases on your bank statement, call and report this to your bank immediately
  • Request a new credit card and a new PIN
  • Make sure there are no unexplainable marks on your credit file by requesting a copy of your credit history