Visa has introduced passkeys to the payment industry, enabling customers to authorize online purchases through a biometric scan on their smartphones or computers when making a purchase online.

This capability is powered by the Visa Payment Passkey Service, which is built on Visa’s Fast Identity Online (FIDO) server. The service allows merchants to integrate the Visa Payment Passkey Service into their checkout systems without needing to establish their own servers, thereby simplifying the setup process.

For users, this means they can use the same biometric authentication methods they use to unlock their devices to approve Visa payments online, with a one-time enrollment required during checkout. Visa also plans to extend enrollment options to banking apps in the future.

The development of passkeys was a collaborative effort among major technology companies such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft, which joined forces around 2012 to form the FIDO Alliance. This group aimed to overcome the limitations of traditional passwords by creating open standards for more robust authentication, involving biometric experts like HYPR and Nok Nok Labs.

FIDO released its first standards in 2014, setting the stage for authentication methods that do not depend on passwords. Subsequent advancements led to the establishment of the WebAuthn standard in 2019, which quickly gained acceptance among major web browsers. This progress facilitated the creation of passkeys, leveraging FIDO protocols to link authentication credentials to users’ mobile biometrics.

Visa’s recent move has been welcomed by supporters of FIDO and passkeys. HYPR’s co-founder and CEO, Bojan Simic, commented on this development, stating that nearly every regulated business he has interacted with in the past year has included a passkey initiative in their plans in an online post. “I’m so proud of the work that we have all done at the FIDO Alliance to make this a reality. When we wrote the first FIDO implementation in 2014 here at HYPR, seeing the top brands adopt the standard in a major way seemed like fantasy.”

In making this vision a reality, Visa joins several other prominent companies that have recently introduced support for passkeys, including PayPal, Samsung, and Amazon.


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