Biometric card popularity rises in response to COVID-19

18th November 2020
Alex Lynn

Almost 70% of respondents in a new Swedish consumer study would be interested in a biometric card without having to touch the point-of-sale terminal. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the respondents expressed a strong interest in more hygienic and secure payment methods when shopping in stores.

The study was carried out in October 2020 by TietoEVRY together with biometric fintech company Zwipe.

Although smartphones are on the rise as the primary payment method (24%), the study shows that in retail shopping contactless-enabled bank cards are still the predominant form of in-store retail payment in Sweden (72%).

When considering the present COVID-19 pandemic, more than 80% of respondents are very or somewhat concerned about touching point-of-sale terminals when shopping in-store. Eighty percent of the respondents are also worried about the risk of infection when using their payment card and touching the payment terminal to type in the PIN code to complete a transaction.

Almost 70% of the respondents expressed interest in a payment card that would increase the safety of payment transactions by eliminating the need to touch the payment terminal and/or enter their PIN codes.

Strong interest in biometric payments cards: 75% want their next card to be enabled with biometric capability

New developments are opening the door to new payment methods such as biometric payment cards. According to recent research, awareness among Swedish consumers of biometric cards is on the rise. While 27% of the respondents had heard about biometric payment cards before participating in the survey, the majority (73%) was unaware of this innovation.

Biometric payment cards use fingerprint authentication technology enabled by on-card fingerprint sensor and software. This allows for convenient contactless payments, even for large transaction amounts, without the need to enter the PIN. All contactless-enabled payments can be conducted without touching the payment terminal. Consumers simply enroll their fingerprint on their card at home, and the fingerprint template used for on-card authentication is stored only the card, nowhere else.

As awareness of biometric cards grows, so will demand. Seventy-five percent of the respondents would like their next payment card to be biometric enabled. This finding is based on the responses of survey respondents who were shown a short video presenting biometric payment cards.

“Being able to address COVID-19 with a safer and more secure payment method stands out as a clear desire among the consumers. Currently, we see a strong interest in the market, not only for a safer and more secure and convenient payment method, but also for more hygienic options at points of sale. We believe that biometric payment cards address these demands in a unique way,” explained Jarmo Rouhiainen, Head of Card Production and Personalization at TietoEVRY.

Consumer willingness to pay extra for biometric payment cards

The survey also shows that:

  • Fifty-nine percent of respondents would be willing to pay an extra monthly fee if their current bank offered biometric payment cards. Forty-one percent would expect a biometric card option to be covered by their existing annual bank fees.
  • Forty-seven percent would be interested in paying a monthly fee of SEK 10 to 50 for a biometric payment card with no additional benefits.
  • Twelve percent would pay a monthly fee between SEK 51 to 99 for a biometric payment card alongside other card holder benefits.
  • In addition, nearly half of the respondents (48%) would switch banks if they were offered a biometric payment card by a bank other than their current one, to get access to safer and more secure payments.

“Consumers’ feedback shows that biometric payment cards represent a strong business case for issuers, accelerating customer acquisition, uplifting loyalty and creating new revenue streams. We are excited to see such a strong demand from Swedish consumers, and about addressing their needs together with TietoEVRY,” said André Løvestam, CEO of Zwipe.

Featured products

Product Spotlight

Upcoming Events

View all events
Latest global electronics news
© Copyright 2021 Electronic Specifier