Visa Steps Up Efforts in mPayment Expansion, Biometric Security

Visa Steps Up Efforts in mPayment Expansion, Biometric SecurityVisa is ramping up its efforts to get into the digital payments game with an expansion of its digital wallet service and more intensive investigations into biometric security.

According to a Financial Times article by Emma Dunkley, Visa Europe has been forming partnerships with major retailers in the UK in an attempt to get more customers to sign up with its mobile payments service, which will allow users to make payments through their mobile devices after entering the details of their credit and debit cards. An expansion of the online wallet Visa launched in 2013, is set to debut in June of this year, and the company has already signed up major partners such as Costco and Topshop.

Of course, the mPayment world brings its own unique security vulnerabilities. While doesn’t share customer’s credit card details with merchants and even features a kind of rudimentary behavioral biometrics system that analyzes purchase patterns, security remains a concern for some.

That may be why Visa is upping gears in exploring biometric security. According to a BankingDay article by Beverley Head, an executive with Visa Australia and New Zealand spoke at this week’s CeBIT conference on these efforts, saying the company is “looking to work with industry” to find biometric solutions in mPayments. The executive, George Lawson, also explained that Visa is starting to employ tokenization to help secure online payments, and added that future security systems will use tokens in combination with wearable technology or connected devices in the Internet of Things – possibilities that will be realized “in the not too distant future.”

Visa’s rival MasterCard, meanwhile, is already well on its way in developing biometric and tokenized security both for mPayment services and its own credit cards. With two of the biggest credit card companies in the world leading the charge, it seems that the whole financial services industry is quickly shifting towards these new security technologies as these organizations explore the possibilities on online and mobile payments.