Which Will Drive Biometrics Adoption; Standards or Defacto Implementations?

9. November 2017.

“From face recognition, voice recognition to fingerprint scanners on one’s mobile device, today’s very real biometric solutions, were previously considered to be the stuff of science. We are far enough in our appreciation and acceptance in these technologies that, not only are we willing to provide our biometrics in exchange for the convenience of faster phone unlocking but we allow these same details stored on devices – thus, separating them from our physical person and immediate control.

Smartphone manufacturers may well continue to ease the acceptance and path to biometric adoption for other industries and verticals. A small stretch of the imagination sees biometrics potential use in education, financial services, smart homes and internet of things (IoT). The reason for this wide opportunity set is that they help resolve the all-important issue of a “unique identifier” that is difficult to steal, falsify or otherwise easily replicate.

For financial services, regulations such as the upcoming PSD2 have requirements for strong customer authentication (SCA). This will require what is called “two-factor authentication” to ensure the approvals are in place for electronic transactions. Two factor authentication means that authentication of a customer’s identity must be based on 2 or more independent elements:

  • knowledge (something only the user knows) – this could be a password;
  • possession (something only the user possesses) – this could be a mobile device;
  • inherence (something the user is) – this is where the biometric comes in.

Further, fingerprints, voice authentication and face scans are becoming more ideal solutions for cutting down on customer identification costs, while simultaneously increasing the overall know your customer (KYC) criteria. This can go a long way to improving a customer’s experience during client onboarding.

HSBC, for example, is working with FacePhi on biometric projects whose aim is that clients can access to their banking accounts and restricted areas just taking a selfie. Selfie, a concept and word so young it was Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013.”

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