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Biometrics in retail expected to boom

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Biometric technology is increasingly becoming a part of life, but it still remains confined to specific applications where the need for identity authentication is paramount. Technology vendors like Ideco are touting the use of biometrics in retail as the next big growth area.

Retailers are not only interested in increasing their profits, but they are also interested in reducing loss from theft and more importantly, improving their productivity. Considering the current economic climate, one can expect to see a dramatic increase in the use of biometrics in retail.

Ideco managing director Marius Coetzee says fast, accurate customer ID verification means fast, accurate decision making. “Point Of Sale based biometric verification is a critical aspect to reducing losses caused by increasing levels of ID fraud. Once customer details are registered, you can trade with certainty at every point of transaction.”

Whether it is fingerprint identification, palm-vein technology, facial-recognition systems, there are a growing number of ways biometrics technology is helping the business world move in a new direction. Retailers are now, more than ever before, enthusiastic to investigate ways to gather more information about their customers.

He says Ideco is seeing an increased interest in biometrics in the commercial and consumer markets. “Not only was Apple iPhone 5 launched with a fingerprint identification sensor, but more recently, Samsung and PayPal introduced a new biometric feature that allows Galaxy S5 smartphone owners to use fingerprint authentication for mobile payments with PayPal merchants.”

Biometrics offers a convenient and additional layer of security, help prevent fraud and create a better customer experience. Controlled access and accurate records for attendance of staff and visitors provides the basis for a more secure workplace.

Secure, cashless payment systems for services such as parking, tuck shops and canteens, photo-copying and printing are also made possible through fingerprint-based identification solutions. In turn, costly identity fraud through the sharing of Cards PINs and passwords is effectively prevented.

Coetzee says increasing consumer understanding of biometrics will help improve early adoption, which in turn may see more systems of this type emerge within the retail sector over the coming months. “As the industry continues to investigate new technologies to help their businesses grow, biometrics is certainly on the agenda.”

source: Biztech Africa

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