Dear Readers,

As we are in the midst of what everyone nowadays likes to call an "unprecedented“ coronavirus situation, the payment world seems to experience its own rumble.

In-store sales have significantly dropped around the world, as well as cash withdrawal, but online shopping seems to have reached its own renaissance. Speaking of renaissance, Italy, for example, has seen 81% growth in e-commerce. There has been even a large percentage of people who are now shopping online for the first time, on a global level.

Therefore, companies have put the focus on digitalization, especially when it comes to payment and fintech industry. 

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It seems that it takes an unusual situation like this to fast track digitalization. Financial institutions are trying to quickly launch mobile wallets and various contactless products. Merchants are also looking for quick ways to move their offer online because people are moving online due to the virus and isolation measures. People are spending time online to shop, learn, or just find a way to stay in touch with everything. 

These times have also seen a big spike in fraud and cybercrime. I, for one, have never received more phishing and scam emails, but I am fairly good at recognizing them. However, not everyone knows how to recognize scammers. Even if they did, cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to operate. 

For that reason, and because the virus is spread by contact, what better way to protect and authenticate payments but with biometrics. Biometrics seem to be the safest way of authentication during the coronavirus because people are not in direct contact with surfaces, other than their phone.

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Of course, the first thing that comes to mind are fingerprints, voice, or iris, but there is also the Digital Identity when it comes to online safety. DI solutions are still in development, but experts say this will be very much used thin the near future.

In my experience, authenticating payments with a fingerprint has been a lifesaver in this period. I didn’t have to take my wallet or take out cards from the wallet, I just had to tap my phone and put my index finger on it.

Having said all of this, we made Biometric Authentication our feature theme in the 15th issue. We recognize the potential it has to change payment authentication in the near future, but we also recognized how it became a very significant and safe method of authentication in this period.

In the end, stay safe, use biometric authentication, and enjoy our new issue!