Category Archives: Biometrics

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Visa finally gets on board with optional credit card signatures

As more and more credit card companies announced an end to the need for signatures on credit and debit card receipts, major player Visa kept holding out. Until today.

Finally, Visa announced Friday it was making signatures “optional” in North America starting in April.

SEE ALSO: This smart credit card has a cellphone antenna inside

Visa’s move, which keeps signing an option for now, is a little different to MasterCard, Discover, and American Express who are straight-up eliminating the need for something on the dotted line. But it’s essentially dumping signatures unless retailers decide they still want one. Read more…

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Hey, look: A fingerprint scanner under a smartphone screen

Could the future of smartphone biometrics look a lot like a shinier version of the past? The answer is most definitely yes — that is, if Synaptics Incorporated has anything to say about it. 

The San Jose-based hardware manufacturer announced plans on Monday to mass produce an optical in-display fingerprint sensor, and, according to the company, it has a very big partner involved. 

SEE ALSO: No one agrees on whether or not a dead body will unlock a smartphone

The “Clear ID” scanner, which would reside under a phone’s screen, would theoretically allow for easy-to-use biometrics on bezel-less phones. While Synaptics is not the first company to develop such technology, that it claims to have a deal with an unnamed “top five [original equipment manufacturer]” suggests it’s ready for the big leagues.  Read more…

More about Apple, Touch, Biometrics, Fingerprints, and Face

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Discover won’t force you to sign for purchases anymore

Forget signing your name on credit and debit card purchases with Discover.

Starting in April, the credit card company won’t require a signature after buying something in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean.

SEE ALSO: MasterCard will finally stop forcing people to sign receipts

Chip technology — along with biometrics and multi-factor authentication — has made signing a receipt a redundant security measureMasterCard announced it was ditching signatures back in October. 

Discover said the change may require some merchants to change their Discover point-of-sales systems since pens and electronic signature screens won’t be necessary. Read more…

More about Security, Discover, Biometrics, Credit Cards, and Financial Services

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How your body stank could be the future of smartphone security

Thumbprints can be replicated, facescans can be faked, but your sweat? It’s one of a kind. Or at least unique enough, as far as smartphone security goes. That’s the takeaway from a group of researchers claiming to have found a more secure form of biometric identification that could one day have you wiping to unlock. 

The idea is relatively straightforward: Everyone’s got a sweat profile, specific to them. And a smart device could learn the secret blend of secretions unique to its owner, let his or her phone sample whatever lovely blend is oozing out of their moist pores, and unlock the phone with it.  Read more…

More about Smartphones, Cybersecurity, Passwords, Touch, and Biometrics

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MasterCard will finally stop forcing people to sign receipts

“Can I get you to sign on the bottom?” “Your signature, please?” “Sign here.”

Those prompts that you’ve heard forever after shopping, eating out, and spending money are coming to an end.

SEE ALSO: Personalize your credit cards (and support a good cause) with these custom card covers

MasterCard is doing away with signatures on purchases starting in April.

It’s the end of an era. The future signature-less payment process stemmed from company research showing that customers wanted to speed up time at the register.

Requiring a signature had become antiquated with so many other security features such as chips, biometrics, and digital payment platforms. Some new MasterCard credit cards have a fingerprint sensor embedded in the card. When paying, cardholders just touch the sensor while holding the card as they dip it into the terminal.  Read more…

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The iPhone 8 might be smart enough to know when to shut up

The iPhone 8 is expected front-facing biometric sensor for scanning your face. Its most obvious use seems likely to be scanning your face to verify your identity to unlock the phone, but it might also help suppress one of the most grating parts of the iPhone experience.

This week’s bountiful HomePod firmware leak was loaded with info (including what the iPhone 8 will likely look like). Developers are still mining the code for details, and one of them suggests a new 3D sensor on the front could identify when you’re using the phone and mute those annoying notification sounds. 

That means you won’t have to take the pesky extra step of turning off turning your phone to silent every time you use it — unless you’re one of those people who just wants to watch the world burn as your text conversation ding ding dings for everyone else to hear even though you’re watching the messages come in to you in real time.    Read more…

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Delta will let you drop bags at airports by just scanning your face

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Delta is launching a facial recognition self-service bag drop, the first of its kind in the United States.   

SEE ALSO: Delta apologizes after threatening parents with jail time over a seat they purchased

Customers with bags to check will stop at the kiosks to print their bag tags — same as now — then go to the self-service machines, equipped with biometric technology, which will match them with their passport photos through identification verification. 

“We expect this investment and new process to save customers time,” said Gareth Joyce, Delta’s Senior Vice President, Airport Customer Service and Cargo. “We see a future where Delta agents will be freed up to seek out travelers and deliver more proactive and thoughtful customer service.” Read more…

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