Face and Voice Biometrics as Touchless Technology during COVID-19 Era

Brian Maw

As businesses reopen, many measures are being taken to ensure safety during the global pandemic. As Mobile Payments Today detailed in their blog, Six Contactless Technologies for Restaurants in a Post-Pandemic World, businesses are being very clever with how they keep people socially-distanced and reduce the need to touch items.

Contactless payments are an important part of the global movement towards a touchless world that is forever impacted by COVID-19 threats. Paper money is not accepted at many businesses as over 90% contains bacterial buildup (Greenberg). Credit cards are a better alternative, but they are still touched by both the cashier and the customer, and therefore becomes a link from one customer to all other customers. Using ApplePay and or the GoogleWallet, as the Mobile Payments Today article mentions, are both other alternatives, but they require the touching of a phone to the scanner. It is common knowledge that our phones also carry hundreds of harmful bacteria, which is another risk during this global pandemic.

One method that has not been heavily discussed is a biometric payment form. Voice and facial recognition payments are extremely secure, and better yet, touchless. The technology makes payments secure due to the fact that biometrics are entirely unique to each person. Finnovant’s Say-Tec voice and facial-recognition technology could be used as a customer-friendly alternative to a payment flow that promotes contactless payments and safety. The biometric validation can be performed on any Android or iOS device and applied through an app for purchase or when accessing the web site of the merchant on the smartphone. COVID-19 will impact the culture of business forever; biometric payments can help these changes be convenient and safe for everyone.