Retirement Income

Thu, 15 Mar, 2018Ben Squires

PINs will soon become obsolete

PINs will soon become obsolete

We’re unlocking our mobile phones with our thumbprints and getting through border control with eye scans, and it seems our credit cards might be the next big thing swapping traditional security methods for biometric technology.

Credit card giant Visa has announced it is currently working on the introduction of thumbprint, voice, retina and even heartbeat data as the newest way to authorise transactions.

“Australians are not only tech-hungry but they’re very savvy in terms of how to use that technology,” Rob Walls, head of product at Visa Australia, told

“We see the penetration of smartphones, internet banking and paywave — Australia leads the way in paywave adoption. You’re starting to see new devices and payments experiences coming into the market. Australians are increasingly using Siri as part of their engagement, ordering a pizza for example.”

The proposed changes come after a YouGov poll commissioned by Visa found that 56 per cent of respondents would be happy to use biometric data to make a payment. 45 per cent said the technology appealed to them as being more secure, and 40 per cent liked the idea of no longer having to remember a PIN or password.

“Industry research suggests eight out of 10 people are using the same PIN across the majority of their payment cards,” Walls revealed. “In 2020, the average consumer will have more than 200 passwords they have to remember.”

Unfortunately, Walls believes this will only heighten the risk of card details being stolen. “To remove that risk, we can push that authentication to something that’s more natural and unique to the consumer, such as a retina scan, a thumbprint or heartbeat. There will be no more fumbling for your wallet, pushing in a 16-digit card number.”

Are you for or against the new idea? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.