How Biometric Tech is Beneficial to Financial Security

biometrics for financial security

A rise in data breaches is prompting many banks and financial institutions to adopt biometric identification technology for customers and staff. (Photo courtesy of flickr).

The following guest post on the use of biometric technology for individual identification in banking and financial services was submitted by Maricel Tabalba.

A significant increase in data breaches in the past few years has urged many financial institutions to consider using biometric security. The Gemalto breach level index showed that there were 1,540 credit card related data breaches in 2014. Additionally, the Consumer Sentinel Network stated that the number one complaint in their database were concerns regarding identify theft.

Since credit cards are one of the most popular methods of payments, an increase in security measures is absolutely necessary. Even though online banking has revolutionized the banking industry, the release of new technology requires stronger methods of authentication to ensure that consumer financial information is not compromised. For the past few years, researchers have been developing and releasing innovative biometric technology that has lead to a more secure financial industry.

Current Use of Biometrics

In February of 2015, RBS and NatWest were the first two banks in the United Kingdom to enable bankers to access their accounts using fingerprint login. Not only will fingerprint login promote secure financial transactions, but the feature will provide a stronger customer experience. A report from Visa Europe concluded that approximately three-quarters of millennials support the use of biometrics to make secure payments on their smartphones. Many of the young participants in this study stated that biometric security would ultimately be more convenient than passwords, thus making the feature the preferred solution.

The advancement of technology has enabled biometrics to be used on a variety of different mediums including smartphones, iPads, and wearables. Perhaps the most popular device where people can use biometric technology is their smartphone. In today’s society, most people’s phones are at their fingertips, so using biometric authentication is quick and easy. In addition, many of the most recent Apple iPads are equipped with biometric technology called Touch ID. Touch ID is a revolutionary feature that can scan the fingertips for identification purposes. Biometric technology can also be seen on a new product referred to as wearables. Typically worn on the wrist, this innovative wristband can enable users to complete financial transactions with the assistance of biometric security.

Voice, Face, and Iris Recognition Technology

Touch ID was one of the first companies to begin offering voice verification biometric in 2015. Voice recognition adds another layer of account security and saves the user a lot of time. Despite its many practical benefits, this biometric may be not be as effective when people’s voice change due to illness and mood. Another factor that can affect the accuracy in voice verification is background noise.

Facial recognition technology can be used in many industries including banking and law enforcement. In the financial sector, passwords and PINs will eventually be replaced with a facial recognition biometric that can identify bankers on their phone, tablet, or laptop. In fact, a recent article in the Financial Times reported that customers of Lloyds Banking Group in the United Kingdom will be able to use this biometric to access their bank accounts soon. Although much progress has been made in the financial industry, many bank executives have voiced their concerns about the lack of headway in law enforcement as customer biometric information is not currently included in one of the FBI’s private databases, known as Next Generation Identification. If customers give the banks permission to release their facial biometrics to law enforcement, the authorities may have a better chance of solving cybercrimes.

Iris recognition technology is another effective biometric that can be employed by many financial institutions. Contrary to facial recognition that is not always accurate, this technology delivers positive results almost all of the time. Iris recognition technology simply snaps a picture of the customer’s iris for authentication purposes. There are many advantages to using iris recognition technology such as a fast search speed and a user-friendly interface. The biometric is also ideal for handling large databases. Since the feature involves one eye, there are only a few people who will not be able to use this technology. In some cases, iris recognition has even been successful for blind users.

Biometric Tech of the Future

Many corporate and academic labs are continually researching new ways to identify people with accuracy. A few years ago, a couple of scientists from New Delhi developed a digital image processor using gabor fillers to scan ears. According to a survey of ear biometric research, this new invention was only effective 92 to 96.9 percent of the time. Similarly, a few professionals from the Technical Support Working Group sought to invent a biometric that would successfully collect and store human odors for military canines. Other sources of biometric information that are being considered are heartbeat, sweat, and gait.

The future of biometric tech is extremely promising. In a few years, almost everyone will be using these features for authentication and this tech will continue to develop and better themselves in order to provide the best security possible for both consumers and business owners.

Author bio:

Maricel Tabalba is a freelance contributor for Credit.com who is interested in writing about personal finance advice for Millennials and college students. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

How Financial Services Are Becoming More Secure

biometrics for financial services security

The financial services industry has adopted new technologies to protect sensitive customer information. (Photo credit to Google Images)

The following guest post on improving financial services security was submitted by Damien Troy.

As technology improves and continually evolves, security becomes increasingly important. While new technologies being used in businesses and services is generally a positive, it can also leave them vulnerable to the latest cybercrime, such as hacking and identity theft. For services dealing with sensitive personal information, this is particularly important. Financial services such as banks, advisors and short term loan companies, like loanpig.co.uk, all have a responsibility to keep their customers information secure. Here’s how financial services are improving their security.

End-to-end Encryption

End-to-end encryption has been in place within financial services for some time now. Its purpose is to keep important personal information, such as credit card details, private. Whenever a user sends their information to a website, such as by entering their payment details online, they are vulnerable to cybercrime. Once the information has been sent out, the user has no control over it. Encryption scrambles the information, making it illegible should it be accessed by anyone other than the intended recipient. End-to-end encryption makes sure the data is only readable by the sender and the recipient.

Biometric Security

In the future, we could see biometric security being used widely throughout the financial service industry. Biometric security involves using an individual’s biological traits to identify them, for example fingerprint or iris recognition. This technology could be highly beneficial for the financial service industry because it is more secure than a password or PIN code and it could also potentially cut costs by reducing the need for two-step verification via SMS message.

Ransomware Protection

The threat from ransomware is continually increasing, as new schemes are online every day. These attacks are becoming far more sophisticated than a generic phishing email and have the potential to steal large amounts of customers’ personal data. Some examples of more sophisticated ransomware include programs which are able to offer online helpdesks to their victims to gather information. In order to protect themselves from this threat, financial service providers need to be able to identify threats and have a recovery plan in place. In addition, computers need to be kept updated with appropriate security software which is vital for reducing the risk of Trojans and ransomware. Some banks have even gone as far as offering their customers free security software, to help protect their information.

Moving Away From Passwords

Many financial service providers still rely upon generic passwords, such as mother’s maiden name, place of birth. All of this personal information is easily available on social media. Some banks are already moving away from this type of password and instead using one-time only passwords which are sent directly to the customer’s phone each time they want to access their bank or loan provider. The movement towards one-time passwords is a positive step to improving security, but it will take a long time to fully implement them across all the financial service sectors. Some clever marketing strategies will also be required to get customers on board with the process.

Author bio:

Damien Troy is an experienced business man with many years working within the financial sector of business. He has helped many struggling businesses overcome financial difficulty and create success where it looked least likely.

Will Biometric Technology Take Over Banking Security?

The use of biometric technology for banking security is on the rise.

The use of biometric technology in the banking sector is on the rise.

If you haven’t heard the news, more banks are adopting biometric technology for customer authentication to increase security. Banks all around the world have been searching for more advanced technologies such as biometrics for better protection against identity theft, fraud, and cyber-crime often perpetuated by stolen customer identities.

Biometrics acts as a strong authentication tool to help secure transactions and also helps to increase customer trust and improve brand reputation. Biometrics in banking has evolved so rapidly across the world that it raises the question as to whether the technology is going to entirely take over banking security. We believe it is.

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The Impact of Mobile Biometrics in Banking

Biometrics in Banking

The acceptability of mobile biometrics in banking is on the rise

Smartphones are powerful tools, and when used for authentication purposes in banking, they can become even more so. Source

The rising demand to more effectively secure online and mobile banking and financial services transactions through accurate customer identification to prevent identity theft and banking fraud has sparked an interest in the use of biometric identification technology.

Biometric identification solutions provide quick and accurate customer authentication by using unique physiological characteristics (who you are) for identification instead of PINs (what you know) or ID cards (what you have).

Biometric identification technology is difficult if not nearly impossible to forge, meaning that through the use of biometrics, the banking and financial services sector can drastically reduce or even completely eliminate losses incurred by customer identity theft and fraud. A lot of banks around the world are already using biometric technology for customer identification, and a lot more are following suit.
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Biometrics in Banking: Are Customers Buying In?

Banks and financial services are shifting towards biometrics to ensure security and customer convenience.

Banks and financial services are shifting towards biometrics to ensure security and customer convenience.

As the volume of financial service security breaches, transaction fraud, and identity theft increases, the need for highly secure customer identification systems is becoming extremely important. As a result, in the banking and finance sectors, the “Know your customer” (KYC) initiative is getting more traction to prevent fraud and identity theft. One technology that is getting a lot of attention to help increase security and customer convenience is biometrics in banking for customer identification. Continue reading →

New Technology to Tighten Bank Security – Voice Biometrics

voice biometrics helps secure financial trasnactions

Voice biometrics is playing a larger role to help better secure transactions in the financial services industry.

When it comes to banks, there is a constant need to update security measures to ensure the safety of bank accounts. Biometric voice recognition technology now enables bank customers to use their voice as an added layer of protection for their bank accounts.

Voice biometrics is a very promising innovation that will protect accounts from call-in center scams, wherein felons call a bank’s customer service hotline pretending to be in a situation that will move the assisting representative to give them access to confidential data and inevitably, to the account’s funds. Continue reading →

The Impact of Biometrics in Banking

biometrics in bankingThe rapid digitization of banking services combined with the continued need to adopt stricter customer and employee identification protocols to prevent identity theft and fraud has set the table for biometric identification technology to become an integral and strategic part of financial service security platforms. Acting as a strong authentication tool to help secure ATM, brick and mortar, and online transactions, biometrics in banking also helps to increase customer trust and improve brand reputation. The necessity for a stronger authentication solution became inevitable in banking services because of the growing pace of sophisticated transactional technology adoption along with the unfortunate rise in fraud and security breaches due to reliance on traditional security systems such as passwords.

biometrics in banking

The rise in use of biometrics in banking is helping to better secure customer transactions to prevent fraud.

Biometric Technology in the Banking Sector

Biometrics are automated methods of recognizing customers through their biological characteristics and traits such as fingerprints, finger vein patterns, iris, and voice recognition. Biometric characteristics are unique for every individual and difficult to forge, which is why biometric verification and authentication is commonplace in immigration control, law enforcement, and forensic studies. Many banks worldwide are already using biometrics with their banking systems to authenticate employees and customers and among all banks utilizing biometrics, 52 percent are located in Asia. Japan has more than an estimated 15 million customers using biometric authentication for banking transactions. Banks in Mexico, South America, Africa, and the Middle East are also moving towards the use of biometric identification technology because of its popularity with consumers, and ability to offer more security than traditional personal identification numbers (PINs) and passwords.

Figures – Proportion of Banking Using Biometric in Different Continents

Different Ways to Use Biometrics in Banking

Biometric technology is slowly replacing traditional passwords and token-based electronic access, signature-based branch service access, and PIN-based access in mobile banking and at ATMs. Here are ways that banks can use biometric technology to improve banking services and better protect customer assets:

  • Biometrics in Branch Banking

Financial service institutions are using fingerprint and finger vein biometrics in banking for customer identification in their branches because these two biometric authentication methods deliver fast results that are suitable for the busiest branches of a bank. Moreover, finger print and finger vein systems are user friendly, easy to use and ensure reliable security. When customers visit branches they can be authenticated at the counter through fingerprint and finger vein biometric scanners that match the customer’s existing biometric template within the bank database, and after successful authentication, the customer will be allowed to move forward with their banking transactions.

  • Biometrics  in Banking ATMs

Using biometrics in banking ATMs is popular in developed countries and the adoption rate is growing significantly. There are two approaches for customer authentication in ATMs — a customer using only biometrics and a bank card or a PIN along with biometric authentication. Therefore, facial recognition, fingerprints, finger vein patterns and iris recognition are the most suitable in ATMs as these biological traits can be easily authenticated in this environment.  Furthermore, these types of biometric modalities also have other advantages such as flexibility, compactness, and accuracy.

  • Biometrics for Internet Banking

Many computers, laptops, and even smart phones already have webcams, microphones, and fingerprint scanners, offering flexibility for banks to easily adopt biometric authentication in online banking services with fingerprint, finger vein, facial, and voice recognition. When customers attempt to access their account, some banks now require them to provide a biometric credential first. Some banks require biometric authentication beside the traditional password to make authentication stronger, also known as a “multi-factor” authentication system. This helps banking institutions to protect customer identities from being compromised by cyber criminals and any others trying to illegally obtain sensitive customer information to commit a crime.

  • Biometrics in Mobile Banking

Mobile banking is growing rapidly worldwide, and according to Juniper Research, 400 million people performed a mobile banking transaction in 2013. Despite this large number, many bank customers still have a lack of trust over the security of mobile banking platforms and concerns over security. Banking transactions or customer services could be performed through a voice or speech recognition system where customers need to verify their identity using the microphone in their phones.

  • Single Sign on Solution for More Effective Password Management   

Banks and financial institutions are suffering from network security and data breaches worldwide. According to a recent ACI Worldwide Survey, 44%of customer financial accounts have been compromised and 15% of breaches cause fraud. In a 2013 Ponemon Institute Survey, it was reported that an average cost of these types of incidents is $9.4 million. Banks can easily adopt biometric single sign on (SSO) solutions into their network for password management, identity management, data and network security, and two factor authentication. This system will eliminate vulnerable passwords and loopholes of a bank data security system and will protect both banks and customers from unauthorized access and data breaches. Furthermore, a biometric SSO system will mitigate other security risks and regulatory fines for government compliance.

Benefits of Using Biometrics in Banking

  • Protecting Banking Information – Biometric technology provides the strongest method of authentication that protects banking information from being compromised by unauthorized personnel.
  • Fast and Accurate Branch Banking – Biometric technology provides fast and accurate identification for the banking industry. Customers can be quickly authenticated in mere seconds through a fast biometric scan.
  • Protection Against Insider Fraud – Biometric identification of employees performing transactions on the back end is a crucial step to ensuring identity protection and reducing fraud. Biometrics in banking will help financial institutions to prevent insider fraud by establishing secure employee authentication, accountability and concrete audit trail of each transaction.
  • Secure Online Banking – Over the past years the banking sector has been suffering from massive online service cyber attacks. In most of these cases customers lose their money from the negative effects of identity theft. Biometrics in banking helps the bank to protect customer identities when using online banking services.
  • ATMs with Biometrics – Biometrics in banking for ATMs authentication brings outstanding benefits to both customers and banks. This system now gives customers flexibility to make transactions without bringing bank cards. Banks can avoid the costs and liabilities of customer problems due to lost or stolen bank cards.
  • Audit Trails – Banks can easily track and monitor employee and customer activity in the system to create concrete audit trails with biometric technology solutions.
  • Fast, Secure and Accurate Customer Care Service – The banking sector is always in need of tighter security solutions to provide improved and more secure customer care service over the phone and internet. A biometric voice recognition system for example provides a secure and flexible solution to verify any customers executing transactions outside of a brick and mortar environment.

Conclusion

Due to the role of customer trust and loyalty in the success of banks, and thus in the economic development of countries, banks should provide convenient and more secured banking services to customers. Biometric technology, integrated with an existing traditional security system, will empower banks to deploy the highest level of authentication security possible.
This blog post was written by Arifin Hossain, Executive in our Business Development & Interactive Marketing Department

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