Buy Now Pay Later, but at what price? A Case for Face Biometrics

The speed at which we can buy and receive products has escalated with the rise of one click internet shopping, the gig economy for deliveries, and economies of scale through improved logistics, warehousing, and deliveries. The rise of robotic and drone deliveries is going to make it all the easier to get stuff fast. Helping the speed of buying is having our purchasing information stored on our computers and our phones. Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) makes it all the faster because now we don’t even need to have the cash assets to buy things.
With the rise of shopping comes a rise in fraud. Experian’s 2022 Future of Fraud Forecast highlights BNPL, Romance, and cryptocurrency schemes on the top of the list.

“Buy Now, Pay Never – The Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) space has grown massively recently. In fact, the number of BNPL users in the US has grown by more than 300 percent per year since 2018, reaching 45 million active users in 2021 who are spending more than $20.8 billion1. Without the right identity verification and fraud mitigation tools in place, fraudsters will take advantage of some BNPL companies and consumers in 2022. Experian predicts BNPL lenders will see an uptick in two types of fraud: identity theft and synthetic identity fraud, when a fraudster uses a combination of real and fake information to create an entirely new identity. This could result in significant losses for BNPL lenders.”

Phishing schemes can enable identity theft. With the growth of BNPL, it’s not hard for fake entities to create fake applications that steal your information so they can make purchases on your credit. The growth of digital personas can enable fake accounts without real people behind them.

Face biometrics can be the solution! The digital devices we make purchases on all have cameras. That camera could be turned on to look at the buyer, confirm they are a real person, confirm their identity, and make sure that identity matched their account. Active liveness detection can prevent spoofing without forcing a user to do any awkward sequences (e.g. blinking or positioning their face in special ways), and the entire process of liveness checking and identification can be done in a second or two adding little or no delay in a transaction.

The enrollment process itself could be done in the onboarding/signup process where liveness checks can also be made to ensure its not a mask or cutout that is enrolling. Enrollment of face and voice together can be done in about 10 seconds and can add an extra layer of security. For example, a smaller transaction might look at the face alone, but a larger dollar value might ask the user to speak so their voice can be recognized.

The use of biometrics can substantially reduce fraud without delaying the transaction speed like multi-factor authentication can do when you need to wait for a special code on your phone and then enter it into the app. Biometrics also avoids asking users for private security information (mother’s maiden name, driver’s license/passport/social security numbers) which could easily be stolen and misused.

Sensory offers solutions for both cloud-based and on-device face and voice biometrics. We offer highly accurate liveness technology, and our cloud architecture is designed for speed, security, and accuracy!