Biometrics have been around for a really long time, mostly dealing with security clearance. In the article that I read they bring up a new possible use for biometrics as a payment method instead of having to use cash or credit cards. The idea behind this is that you can just use your hand over a scanner to do essentially what you do with your credit card: access your account. I see this as being the future of banking and the main payment option.
Hand biometrics are based on the pattern of veins in a persons hand, that pattern is very unique just like a person’s finger print. All that a person would need is their hand. The technology is really cheap and is already being deployed in a few schools and medical centers in Florida. Currently there is a company that runs is taking the front on this new technology called PalmSecure. A lot of people predict that this will become the new standard, so I am assuming that many more companies will come into the business as this becomes more prevalent.
I think that this system has a lot of potential in reducing costs for companies, since it is cheaper than the credit card system. Another thing that is helpful to companies is that they don’t have to spend a lot of money to protect the information of their customers, since stealing biometrics is impossible, unlike the numbers of credit cards. Another good thing for the business world is that many small businesses will have the ability to offer more payment methods, since the technology is so cheap. With this the small businesses may have the chance to expand, which they wouldn’t have had earlier. The most interesting thing that I could see this technology being used for other than payments classification of costumers and data mining. People and their information can be stored under their own unique palm id, but the ideas for it being used in this way are still in the works so the possibilities aren’t completely mapped out.
So far the only technology that is a rival to the palm scan is the NFC system, but NFCs are more limited considering a person must have their phone on them in order to pay. Also it is less safe from identity theft. Overall the palm scan is more user friendly and the technology for it is slightly less expensive. Also a person would need a phone that has NFC, which would be another limiting factor. The main problem that comes up with any new form of payment is that the banks have already set the credit card system in place which is very profitable to them, so they wont let anything else come and replace the systems. This was seen with the NFC system when it was first introduced. The banks were very reluctant, so the system still has not taken off.
I think that if the system is allowed to expand that it will be great for companies and people alike. Also people would not have to remember their passwords or account numbers because every thing will be in the palm of their hand.