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How to Choose the Right Biometric for Payments

Jun 27, 2019 by Beau Karlskin

Biometric technology is taking over the world.

From retail shopping to access control and travel, biometrics allow users to easily identify themselves using their own body.

But one of the biggest industries being disrupted by biometrics is the payments industry. According to a report from Goode Intelligence, over 575 million people are already using biometrics to identify themselves and authenticate transactions. This is predicted to grow to over 1.2 billion users by 2020, and 2.6 billion users by 2023.

There are literally dozens of different biometrics on the market, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to payments, however, most are not ideal.

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The ideal payments biometric should have the following characteristics -


It must not be able to be duplicated, faked, or spoofed. Biometrics such as palm-vein prevent this by having built-in liveness tests that require a pulse and heat signature, making it virtually impossible for your unique pattern to be cloned.


For payments, biometrics can't afford to be wrong. Users should feel confident that they will be able to pay without being incorrectly denied access (or worse, another person being incorrectly allowed access) to their account.

Privacy and Consent Based

It should require a user’s explicit consent in order to be collected. The problem with biometrics such as facial recognition is that it can be captured from a distance without your consent, creating major security and privacy risks.


Biometrics such as fingerprint require you to physically touch the device in order to identify yourself. Not only is this less convenient than contactless biometrics, but it's less sanitary as well.


It should be quick and easy to use, without requiring uncomfortable or unnatural motions and without being overly strict with the position of the scan.

Biometrics such as iris scan, for example, are rather inconvenient for making payments, as users are required to put their eyes up to the scanner to identify themselves—a rather awkward, inconvenient motion for payment purposes.

So what is the best biometric for payments?

At Keyo, we tested virtually every biometric on the market. After weighing the pros and cons of each, we finally settled on palm-vein due to its superior accuracy, security, and ease-of-use.

Palm-vein is the most accurate and secure biometric on the market, with a lower False Acceptance Rate (FAR) and False Rejection Rate (FRR) than any other biometric.

This means that it’s virtually impossible for you to be misidentified. Only you can access your unique biometric ID, and it works every time, without fail.

The Keyo scanner uses infrared light to map the unique vein pattern of your palm, registering over 4 million data points, and using this data to create your unique biometric code.

Registration takes less than a minute. Once you’re registered, simply wave your hand over the sensor and your payment will be processed in 0.2 seconds.

For in-store payments, Keyo offers a fast, secure, and easy way to pay—using nothing but yourself.



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