By Addisson Shaw
In the age of technology, there’s never been a greater demand for effective, secure online and mobile banking transaction services.
Accurate and reliable customer identification technologies are increasingly implemented to halt banking fraud, prevent theft, and keep customers’ personal data safe at all times.
Naturally, the growing demand for secure mobile banking has fused with technology. This has led to the creation of the biometric identification movement.
Biometric identification solutions are the latest generation of online security systems that provide rapid and accurate customer authentication. These systems use unique, tell-tale physiological characteristics such as fingerprints and facial scans in place of PIN numbers, ID documents, and other traditional forms of identification.
This technology is virtually impossible to forge or hack. This means that the widespread use of biometrics has the potential to dramatically reduce or even eliminate the risks of fraud and customer identity theft in the banking sector.
Dozens of banks are already using biometrics for customer identification on a global scale. Many others are following in their footsteps to keep their customers safe.
The Benefits of Biometrics
As one of the most reliable means of identification in the technological age, biometrics and banking are the ideal combination.
When used in the banking sector, this tech can bridge gaps in existing security systems known to be vulnerable to criminals and hackers.
Biometric solutions have taken hold not a moment too soon.
The number of global data breaches is burgeoning. This trend is pressuring banks to steer away of personally identifiable information and towards a safer and more protected system.
Research from the Bureau of Financial Institutions has found that 75 US banks and credit unions’ losses caused by data breaches reached a total value of more than $2.1m alone.
These are devastating losses that need addressing to curb fraud and protect banking platform users as technology rapidly progresses and criminals become more sophisticated.
Biometrics is already used to secure a range of financial transactions online. Internet banking, branch banking, mobile banking, and larger ATM networks all utilize this technology.
Employing the use of biometrics for bank customer identification adds a valuable layer of security to transactions. Plus, it offers customers a myriad of benefits that then extend to their banks.
Banks with satisfied customers who feel safe and valued while banking online will be more likely to retain those customers in the long term. Additionally, they may enjoy more success when encouraging customers to adopt new mobile-based tools and technologies in the future.
Biometrics in the Mobile Banking Sector
There are a variety of biometrics solutions already in use in the mobile banking sector. But few are as widely used as M2SYS CertisID Financial Services Biometric Identification SolutionMobile.
This banking service allows the customers of financial institutions to perform transactions and payments securely using smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
Mobile banking services have been around for years now. But until recently, their transactional security was limited to standard PINs and password logins.
Unfortunately, this system created a number of significant security holes. These holes were quickly exploited by unscrupulous third parties.
Biometrics was introduced to mobile banking platforms to improve their security foundations and more accurately authenticate users.
According to the Biometric Research Group, the biometric solutions industry reached a value of more than $1.8bn by the end of 2015, having doubled since just 2012.
The industry is expected to be worth a staggering $62.9bn by 2026.
The driving force behind this growth is a growing need to minimize security breaches. And to reduce fraud and identity theft in the mobile banking sector.
Researchers at the Group are confident that biometric technology can reduce operational risks for the banking sector considerably over the coming years.
It’s expected that biometric modalities such as facial recognition, voice recognition and eye iris recognition will become commonplace authentication tools for smartphone banking systems in the future.
In short, biometrics are significantly less vulnerable to theft than traditional passwords. Especially when those passwords are stored digitally in a browser.
Biometric technologies are not fool-proof systems. But at the same time, it is not easy for cybercriminals to duplicate a number of incredibly complex physiological and behavioral traits.
Additionally, integrating biometrics with other authentication systems is relatively simple and cost-effective. Creating effective authentication systems that pair biometrics with other security layers, like passwords and personal questions, is the most common option.
Will Customers Accept Biometrics?
Although biometric authentication has been regarded with suspicion by some, its acceptance is rapidly growing among mobile banking customers.
Most newer smartphone models come equipped with fingerprint or facial recognition biometric identification technologies. This has made smartphone users aware of the high level of security that these modalities offer.
CNN Money has noted that fingerprint scanners for mobile transaction services have drastically improved the acceptance of biometric technology as an approval mechanism for banking transactions and once-off payments.
A Biometric Future
In an age where the use of data and protection thereof is increasingly a priority, biometrics have come to the fore.
Biometric technology has a number of key applications in mobile banking. All of which improve security and allow for more accurate customer identification. However, it’s important to note that biometrics alone are not accurate all the time.
For example, certain iris scanners will not work with colored contact lenses. Eyeprint ID will not work reliably if a user cannot hold their smartphones still for long enough.
A combination of biometrics and multifactor authentication (MFA) seems to be the gold standard.
MFA combines something a user knows with a set of physical traits like fingerprints, voice recognition or iris patterns to create a multi-layered approach to mobile banking security. This combination, which relies on the uniqueness of human characteristics like fingerprints and iris patterns along with user-generated passwords, is all but impossible to hack.
Some of the latest biometric technologies are even designed as multi-factor biometric devices. This means that they can capture multiple sets of scans and characteristics in a single scan.
Ultimately, the use of biometrics as an alternative to traditional passwords—or in combination with them—is widely considered to be the best available security measure to eliminate costly data breaches and keep mobile banking customers safe.
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