Impact of Biometrics in Banking

Impact of Biometrics in Banking


As we become more comfortable using the internet for an ever widening range of daily transactions, the sheer scale and value of our personal information being stored online continues to grow exponentially. Consequently, organisations are increasingly becoming committed to developing more convenient and secure methods to access that confidential information, allowing people to organise their lives digitally without the of fear of falling prey to cyber fraud. The banking sector, in particular, has been looking at the many advantages biometric technology offers for quite some time.


Security that customers demand


As our lives move increasingly online, cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks on personal data, especially in lucrative areas like personal internet and mobile banking. Biometric technology like fingerprint ID, voice pattern recognition or facial recognition within the banking sector provides an extra layer of security as an authentication tool compared to PINs and passwords.

Raising the biometric game


Certain banks and financial institutions have taken positive steps in the right direction by utilising new biometric solutions. For example, Barclays launched an authentication system based on finger vein scanners, which uses near infra-red lights to check specific vein patterns inside a person’s finger. MasterCard also conducted trials of a selfie smartphone payment app recently, which uses facial recognition.


In fact banks have adapted to biometrics by introducing it in ATMs, branch banking, internet banking, or even SSO (single sign on). These solutions have proved effective in bringing down the cost of fraud due to data breaches in addition to mitigating other security risks and regulatory fines.


Many banks worldwide are also using biometric solutions to authenticate employees and customers. In fact Text Road Publication Report 2012 indicates that the adoption of biometrics in banking is the highest in Asia at a whopping 52%. Biometrics solutions also encompass employee attendance and tracking systems as part of its bouquet of offerings. These benefit banks in several ways:

  • having a centralised data repository inspite of multiple branches
  • getting a detailed view and an overview of time and attendance of employees
  • in combination with surveillance systems, banks can reduce employee thefts
  • monitoring employees’ attendance records also helps when investigating fraud and for any discrepancies that may arise out of their In/Out records
  • keeps the bank functioning seamlessly by managing employment leave, thus ensuring that the banking function performs at the highest level without affecting customer
  • establishing secure employee authentication which helps in accountability and audit trail during back-end transactions
  • can store data even in locations where the internet is not always available
  • if it’s a cloud-based attendance system, then banks can access their employee attendance records from anywhere, at anytime


Biometric solutions – win-win for customers and banks


The infamous German hacker, Jan Krissler (AKA Starbug) managed to recreate the fingerprint of the German Defence Minister via photographs taken from ten feet away at a press conference. He had previously hacked Apple's Touch ID within 24 hours of its launch and is renowned for attacking security developments in order to flag their inherent vulnerabilities.


Nonetheless, even Krissler himself agrees that biometric technology is the future of authentication within the banking sector. After all the benefits that accrue to a bank and its customers are manifold: protecting customer data, faster and more accurate branch banking, protection against  insider fraud, eliminating the need for bank cards during ATM transactions and better customer service. It is important to reiterate however that absolute security will come from a combination of measures and layered authentication but biometrics goes a long way to address security concerns.


It seems that even an IT behemoth like Google is considering overhauling the entire password system and use a new feature called Trust API which uses multiple identification factors. Several banks in India such as HDFC, ICICI, SBI and Federal Bank among others have already adopted and implemented biometrics technology.  According to a TechSci report, the biometrics market in India will grow at a CAGR of 31 percent from 2016 to 2021 and will surpass $3 billion by 2021 (as quoted by CIO online). It is evident that biometrics technology is the way forward for banking.


How to use biometrics effectively and to understand the right fit for your requirement needs experts who understand the finer nuances of biometric solutions. Experts like SecurAX have been servicing marquee customers in different industry segments and cater to your unique needs with a wide portfolio of products and solutions.  


Impact of Biometrics in Banking

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