Could biometrics give e-money its breakthrough?


Rome wasn’t built in a day – and nowhere does this apply more than with technical innovations. Need an example? It took almost 60 years for everywhere in the US to have access to electricity. Admittedly, most of the time today we are considerably quicker at adopting new products. So, for example, mobile phones were accepted and firmly established much more quickly – within just 5 years of their introduction, half of the American population had one. There’s a clear trend for innovations becoming accepted significantly faster today than 100, 50 or even 10 years ago. However, there are exceptions which, while being constantly touted as the next big thing, fail to make their mark over the decades.

The intelligent fridge that reorders groceries without prompting belongs to this group, just as much as the widespread use of biometric recognition methods such as fingerprint or iris scans. The technological breakthrough of biometrics has been repeatedly prophesied for over 15 years, but has still not met widespread uptake. However, with Apple Pay about to launch in the US (Europe in 2015), if there’s one company today that could be trusted to turn the market upside down then it’s Apple. But what might be the flow-on effects if we were to start simply paying for things via fingerprint? Particularly innovative payment methods will certainly benefit from it.

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