The State Bank of Pakistan has set a timeline to adopt biometrics in the financial sector by the end of 2023, following a trend of central banks seeking to carve out a significant stake in digital identity. The revenue opportunity this creates for banks is as equal to the impact on customers being able to make quick, secure and decentralised payments without friction.

There is a global momentum forcing the financial sector to adapt and embrace digital banking. Pakistan reached several digital milestones launching the country’s first instant digital payments system, RAAST, with the pandemic necessitating a change to online shopping habits and the use of instant payment methods.

According to Mastercard’s New Payments Index 2022, biometric technology that is difficult to replicate is already here enabling the next frontier of digital payments.

Biometrics unlocks a contactless payment solution, whether online or completing around half of all in-store purchases, integrating a biometric sensor into the contactless payment card so consumers can authenticate every transaction personally with a unique credential – their fingerprint.

Global banks are tuning into the use of biometrics to fight fraud such as in 2020 NatWest revealed they were developing behavioural biometrics technology which could replace banking passwords to login or set up online accounts.

The technology was introduced in partnership with Visa for Strong Customer Authentication via VCAS, Visa’s end-to-end authentication solution.

Mastercard is rolling out payment cards with integrated fingerprint ID.