According to the International Biometric Society, the field of biometrics is most recognized when referring to “the emerging field of technology devoted to identification of individuals using biological traits, such as those based on retinal or iris scanning, fingerprints, or face recognition” (Definition). In retrospect, this technology has paved its way into the digital landscape as a tool that can be extremely beneficial when dealing with commerce, consumers and credit card companies.
Specifically for our discussion, the use of biometric fingerprint identification will be applied and considered.
1. COMMERCIAL BUSINESSES
Within the United States and abroad, individuals are engaging in transaction purchases everyday. Thus, it is important to consider the use of biometrics in terms of how it can affect the business world. A study conducted in the United Kingdom set-up several scanning machines at checkout counters to demonstrate what a scenario in which shoppers would approach the checkout, scan for payment and leave. Bloomberg Businessweek evaluated the effectiveness of the scanners and concluded that it would indeed increase the speed of checkout by decreasing the amount of “fumble” time that occurs when an individual must search for their purse or wallet. However, there are critics who have cited that because fingerprints are widely collected, there is a possibility that these machines could be compromised or “spoofed,” and personal information exposed to risk. Therefore, suggestions have been called up in a discussion to improve the potential process of fingerprinting for identification and financial payment. Instead of acting as a stand alone, the prints would be accompanied with a unique identification number as an added precaution. Bottom line, if the technology is present and the benefits outweigh the costs, biometrics could positively affect the way commercial business is dealt.
2. CONSUMERS COMMUNITIES AND CULTURE
It should be noted that for quite some time, a persons physical body has been used as a form of identification technology, including voice recognition. Computers have even installed miniature fingerprint devices for quicker log-in purposes. So to consider the same for commercial exchange is no different. PayTango which “links the cards in your wallet to your fingerprints,” allows for consumers to be presented yet another way to ease off of the need for communication and interaction when purchasing.
The company also believes the use of biometrics to be very beneficial for students and adult professionals who often engage in activities that request the leave of personal belongings behind, such as going out for a night on the town or another situation where the possession of items are limited. Using fingerprint identification would allow them to leave their things at home without worrying about their loss, but still engage in the same purchase behavior as before. With biometric finger recognition, the individuals will no longer feel the need that they are without resources, even within the school system as more modern developments use personal information to purchase lunch in the cafeteria or check out a library book. This is all due in part to our generation as digital millennials. Because while people are always hesitant to provide their personal information online, this way provides them a substitute for a financial exchange that allows them to proceed in what they were originally doing.
3. CREDIT CARD COMPANIES
While our mobile devices are assuming responsibility for housing our personal information and conducting our business, outside services are being threatened. Similar to coffee is both ordered and paid for via smartphones at the time of pick-up, credit card companies are experiencing the early effects of outsourcing… to our personal selves. This form of “digital money” essentially creates a way for consumers to ease up on the collection of excess fees for the use of credit cards.
As we have gone from stashing money under the bed, to investing it within the bank system, to utilizing plastic and pins for our purchases, there have been a variety of ways for people to make payments.
However, this now means that credit card companies will need to explore another positioning niche to keep steady business relationships with their consumers. For fear that they may be outgrown by biometrics, companies are also forced to reevaluate or create another way to remain and become a major player for transactions.
Just as there is an increase in demand for tablet objects, with a touch capability feature, the use of biometrics in increasing rapidly. Biometrics is not only channeling fingerprint recognition, but is also exploring the possibilities of voice recognition among several other forms of technology to better interact with the public as yet another medium for identification and convenience in our present digital age.
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