In addition to providing security for digital financial operations, biometric tools deliver simple, user-friendly banking experiences.
Modern cybersecurity has made biometrics a perfect tech tool when it comes to operational security, especially in the field of digital banking.
Gone are the passwords and other security measures that banks used for years, which generated headaches, mistrust and loss of customers due to their high vulnerability.
Biometrics have emerged as a solution that meets high expectations for everything to do with digital log-ins. In its most general concept, biometric security uses the physical characteristics and behavior patterns of an individual to confirm their identity, and the validity of a financial transaction.
But beyond the issue of security, another advantage of biometrics which is often overlooked, is that these authentication tools do not involve the “frictions” of other methods – which ultimately result in losses for the business. Rather, thanks to biometrics, remote sign-on is safer, faster and more straightforward.
Take the example of the Apple Card, which facilitates purchases in an innovative, differentiated, and secure way due to the incorporation of facial biometrics.
Types of biometrics and the success combination
The use of biometrics is determined by physical characteristics or behavior patterns.
The first involves mapping physical identifiers like fingerprints, irises, and facial characteristics – even veins. On the other hand, behavioral biometrics use the unique patterns that each person adopts when walking, speaking, or writing.
With the rise of identity theft and fraud problems, biometric authentication has become one of the best options to deal with growing risks.
These tools are even more important as part of a Multifactor Authentication (MFA) process, which relies on using three identifiers: inherence (something the user is), possession (something the user has), and knowledge (something the user knows).
Inherence relies on physical biometrics, which is highly secure because it is references unique and non-duplicable features. Possession refers to an object that the user has, such as her mobile phone, for example. Knowledge is linked to some detail that only the user knows – this could be a password, but could also be a behavioral biometric, such as handwriting.
Suitability of biometrics
Before betting on biometrics, it is important to consider some points to decide whether this security tool is suitable your client base. In this regard, consider three aspects: whether it is user-centered, whether it is usable and whether it is accessible.
Biometrics is said to be user-centric when it can understand frequent, everyday usage. For example, can it easily recognize a person’s fingerprint?
As for usability, bear in mind that biometric methods don’t always work perfectly – it may be that contact lenses interfere with iris recognition, or voice elements can’t be distinguished in a noisy environment. As such, it is always a good idea to have a ready alternative, such as a token.
In a similar regard, when it comes to accessibility, consider that not all mobile phones are equipped with the necessary cameras or sensors to take the biometric measurements.
Biometric data versus other factors
Using biometric authentication in banking has a very high value, both for the financial institution and the user. It makes authentication processes more agile: free of friction and generating more satisfied customers.
At the same time, biometrics offer a high-quality user experience. As a personalized process, it does not fall into “one-size-fits-all” security systems, because a biometric data, unlike a password or PIN, cannot be changed.
Don’t forget that passwords do not provide a robust enough identity verification on their own – they are considered a highly vulnerable security method. Additionally, user passwords tend to be simple in terms of code. It is complicated to remember a series of uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and signs.
On the contrary, with biometrics, the user does not need to remember or write down anything. Using biometrics is not only easy for everyone but is also easy to remember.