What the Biometrics Boom Means for Mobile Device Security

biometrics is increasing mobile device security

Mobile security is undergoing fundamental changes with the introduction of biometrics on smart devices.

The following guest post on biometrics for mobile device security was submitted by James Daniels.

The mobile biometrics market is booming. The global biometrics system market is projected grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16.79 percent between 2016 and 2022, expanding from $10.74 billion to $32.73 billion. Demand fueling this growth will be led by the financial sector, the healthcare industry, government initiatives and law enforcement. Fingerprint recognition is currently the most popular biometric technology, finding its most widespread application in the travel and immigration sector, but other technologies such as facial and voice recognition are expected increasingly gain currency as well. Here’s a closer look at the biometrics boom and what it means for your mobile device security and lifestyle.

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5 Ways Biometric Security Will Redefine Mobile Phone Authentication

The following is a guest post submitted to M2SYS by Nasrullah Patel

You may be aware of the term “biometrics” – an evolving technology used for identity authentication and access privilege. The word biometrics is derived from the Greek language where bio stands for life and metrics for measure. Biometric security technology was first made commercial in the year 1970. It has become intrinsic for almost all security technologies ranging from government and military standpoints to private organizations, healthcare, and the telecom sector.

Mobile devices play a significant role in everyday life, not only for communicating with others but also used for entertainments and social relationships. Along with the increase in the usage of mobile devices like smartphones, tablet PCs, laptops, and other portable devices, the growth of confidential data like (bank accounts, personal and official e-mails, photographs, video) that these mobile devices store is also increasing. Currently, biometric security is one of the best authentication solutions to raise security within the mobile environment and there are plenty of examples of integrating biometric technology via Mobile App Development that includes; mobile voting, banking, and performing online transactions.

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Do Mobile Biometrics Need More Security?

mobile biometrics security

Does the rising use of biometrics on mobile devices require a higher level of security?

The following is a guest post submitted to M2SYS.

When it comes to an organization’s information security systems, passwords are possibly the weakest link. This is why many inroads are being made in the field of biometric authentication technologies. Take a look at the rate of website breaches, and you can make the discernment whether or not biometrics and mobile biometrics are necessary. Companies can force users to come up with long and complex passwords. Yet, many will then write these passwords down somewhere simply because they are difficult to remember. In this regard, biometric authentication can be a foolproof approach—especially when using mobile devices that are the increasing method people use for accessing their accounts. Now the question remains, do mobile device biometrics need more security? Continue reading →

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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Are Mobile Payments Headed Towards Biometrics and the Cloud?

cloud based mobile biometrics

Mobile payments and cloud adoption are on the rise in the banking industry, and mobile biometrics technology can help the industry to effectively secure mobile device transactions through the cloud bringing convenience to customers.

(This post is updated on 24th May, 2017)

The global world of retail payments is rapidly advancing technologically, giving rise to many future possibilities to authenticate transactions and more efficiently allowing the banking industry to securely attract and connect with customers. It is now possible for an individual to make payments on the move via mobile devices, enjoy access to multiple payment methods and currency options, and feel secure in the knowledge that their sensitive data is protected due to new sophisticated technologies like and mobile biometrics, which were developed to combat fraudulent activity.

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Will Apple Pay (and Touch ID) Help Advance U.S. Consumer Acceptance of Biometrics?

using fingerprint biometrics for secure retail payments

Will the introduction of Apple Pay help advance the use of biometrics for secure retail transactions in the U.S. market?

The following post was written by Arifin Hussain, Executive – SEO, SEM, PPC Business Development & Interactive Marketing Dept. with M2SYS Technology.

U.S consumers entered the biometric based consumer payment space with a big splash through integration of near-field communications (NFC) technology to allow secure wireless payments through a mobile wallet service called Apple Pay. Apple Pay uses Touch ID – a biometric fingerprint authentication technology available on the latest version of Apple’s smartphones to authenticate customers for retail purchases.

Biometric identification is already being used as a security measure in many global verticals such as financial services, healthcare, and workforce management but has been largely left out of the mix as a secure authentication mechanism for retail transactions. Will the recent introduction of Apple Pay via Touch ID help to accelerate acceptance of biometrics among U.S. consumers as a secure identification technology in a retail environment? After all, consumers flock en masse to Apple products as if they were a cult in and of themselves populated by consumers with voracious appetites for new technology.  Unlike other security systems that rely on passwords or payment cards, one of the greatest advantages of biometrics is the individual identification accuracy it provides. Physiological characteristics such as fingerprints, finger veins, palm veins, iris, voice, and facial recognition provide accurate and secure authentication and cannot be easily replicated by criminals.

How Much More Secure Is Biometric Technology?

In the United States, banks have been using biometrics since the mid-2000s to secure self-service access to safe cash deposit boxes for consumers. However, U.S. consumers are worried about privacy and the potential misuse of their captured biometric data specifically with where and how the data is stored and secured.  Despite worries about someone stealing your phone or it being susceptible to hackers, experts say Apple Pay actually adds significant security to your payment transactions, even more than traditional credit cards.

Apple Pay has proved that using biometric to secure retail payments is convenient, safe, and secure as their system requires users to input their VISA, MasterCard, or American Express credit card details into their phone and upon receipt, the card network will send a token and the transaction security key to a special chip within the iOS device. In order to complete a transaction, users need to put their fingerprint on the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on Apple’s latest smartphones to verify they are who they say they are.  When this credential is accepted, the phone’s token and a transaction security key will be sent to the merchant. The card network will then verify the transaction, pass over the information to the bank issuer for token decryption and then both the token and security key will be accepted by the merchant via NFC.  All process are done by involving three separate parties for quick and secure payment verification.

The user credentials and fingerprint data in the Apple Pay programs are highly encrypted and secured in a chip within the device. Even Apple does not have access to any of the data and purchase history. Therefore, if the phone is lost, an end user can easily turn off the system and remotely wipe out all payment and credentialing information.

Why We May See Growth of Consumer Acceptance on Using Biometrics

Biometrics is a strong technology to help solve the problem of secure and accurate retail payment authentication and eliminate the need for consumers to enter a password, and the use of biometrics is gaining popularity not only in the U.S but also worldwide. For example, in China 2.78 billion retail transactions using biometric authentication have been conducted via Alipay Wallet, the online payment service by the giant B2B marketplace, Alibaba.

Apple’s clout with biometric mobile wallet technology has transformed people to believe in the benefits of using biometrics to secure retail transactions. Biometric payment authentication is a mass scale reality now that Apple has released TouchID and many major banks and national retail chain stores in the U.S. are accepting Apple pay to secure retail purchases. This new biometric based mobile wallet provides an easier way to pay wirelessly and securely with your finger as a payment card alternative. Apple Pay is considered as a convenient solution for retailers to replace the security challenged swipe based payment methods and a more comfortable solution for consumers to pay via fingerprint instead of being worried about lost cards or theft. Apple Pay would also have a positive impact on contextual mobile commerce around couponing, tickets, identity, and the access management industry.

Furthermore, Apple’s success on using secure biometric authentication in the payment system accelerates support to use biometrics as a security measure. A global survey conducted by Unisys of consumer attitudes to using biometrics found a 5% increase in people who favor the use of biometrics as a preferred method of identity verification. Supporters of biometrics were mainly in the North American region (71%) followed by Europe (69%) and the Asia-Pacific region (68%).

The Benefits of Using Biometrics for Consumers

The benefits of biometrics for consumer use are huge, adding security to products and services where it is applicable. Speed of access and accurate authentication is critical to the success of biometric implementations in the retail industry. Consumers have little patience for time-consuming authentication, despite the added security that biometrics technology offers. Here are some key reasons on why consumers may be more likely to accept biometrics for individual identification:

  • Security – Biometric technology has been considered as a high level security solution for governments and businesses for a long time, and providing secure authentication for consumers can help bring more reliable security technologies to the retail industry.
  • Speed and Accuracy – Consumers frequently need to provide their unique authentication credentials to make purchases and biometric technology can provide a faster and more accurate identification solution within moments rather than using traditional payment methods that are more susceptible to fraud.
  • Convenience – Biometric identification methods offer convenience. Biometric physiological characteristics cannot be easily replicated and provide a more convenient authentication credential traditional than passwords or PINS. It can also prevent unauthorized access to any device or information when protected by biometrics.


User acceptance of biometric authentication in e-commerce clearly indicates that security, convenience, ease of use, and greater privacy act as strong motivators when present. Despite worries about privacy and security, the acceptance of biometrics acceptance is gaining momentum for use in retail. Apple Pay can utilize the benefits of biometrics as quick and secure way of retail transaction authorization and promises to boost user acceptance of biometrics among U.S. consumers.

New Deloitte Report Indicates Biometrics in Banking Could Help Secure Mobile Transactions

biometrics in banking is on the rise

The use of biometrics in banking is increasing as more consumers understand its potential and become more familiar with the technology.

The Deloitte Center for Financial Services released a report that indicates eroding consumer confidence in the security of mobile financial service applications has forced the industry to take a closer look at incorporating technologies such as biometrics to help alleviate fears and insecurities. The report seems right on cue following our post last week about the need for the financial services and banking industries to more closely assess the use of biometrics for customer and employee ID and to better secure mobile devices while engaging in transactions.

A link to the full report can be found here and it presents some very interesting statistical data culled from a recent survey Deloitte launched to ask consumers about their comfort level with using mobile banking apps. A few of the highlights:

  • Many (banking customers) are hesitant to use mobile services due to concerns over security, privacy, and ease of use.
  • Mobile is increasingly becoming the primary method of interaction with their financial services providers.
  • Should the at-home mobile experience that financial services companies offer be different from out-of-home experiences, where there is perhaps greater concern about security and privacy? 
  • (Consumers) placed a much higher value on the ability to interact using mobile devices with their banks than with other financial providers.
  • For many consumers, when it comes to conducting financial services over mobile devices, the advantages and conveniences offered by smartphones and tablets are being trumped by more negative considerations about the devices themselves and data security.
  • 61% of those who do not regularly use mobile devices for financial services cited security issues as the prime reason.
  • 3 in 10 respondents said that security issues had prompted them to severely restrict the use of mobile devices for financial services.
  • 72% would appreciate the use of biometric identification in banking (such as fingerprints or eye scans) to enable a device for financial services transactions.
  • Biometrics is another mobile device capability that financial services companies could leverage to make customer interactions easier and more secure.
  • Nearly 2/3 of smartphone users said they would find it valuable to use biometric identification (fingerprint, voice scan, or iris scan) on mobile devices for ATM transactions and payments.

It is clear that the proliferation of biometric identification capabilities on smart devices has brought the technology more into the mainstream helping consumers to develop a higher comfort level to use it and more importantly, understanding why and how biometrics in banking is a natural evolution of securing online transactions. However, there is still trust to be built in using biometrics in banking on mobile devices to secure transactions. The report states:

“However, the comfort level with biometric security and encryption decreases as the amount of the transaction increases. For instance, the proportion of consumers who are comfortable with this technology drops from 26 percent for a transaction size of $1,000 to only 11 percent for a transaction worth $10,000. This finding illustrates that biometric solutions may be more successful for smaller transactions. As consumers gain experience with biometrics, they might then be more willing to use them for larger payments.”

What’s clear is that not only is biometrics in banking an opportunity for the industry to leverage existing smart device capabilities to boost security, but the use of biometrics is also an opportunity to better engage consumers and build trust – two critical pillars of quality service, customer retention, and spreading positive word of mouth.

Thanks to the staff at the Deloitte Center for Financial Services for their research and reporting. Extremely interesting insight into the rising use of biometrics in banking and an opportunity to truly understand consumer sentiment when it comes to their perceptions of whether mobile banking is appropriate for their use.

Do you feel that biometrics in banking has a place to help increase security and build trust with consumers?



Privacy: Will Mobile Apps with Biometric IDs Help Advance Biometrics Acceptance?

will biometric mobile authentication take a step forward?

Will the use of biometrics for mobile device authentication help advance acceptance of the technology?

The following guest post is by Nicole Williams, professional blogger.

Biometrics seemed like such a futuristic term just a few years ago, but now it’s here and according to CNET, it’s predicted to be a ‘common’ form of security by 2015. However, many companies are concerned about whether biometrics will offer a viable security solution and consumers are worried about whether biometrics will violate their privacy by using their stored data. Many of these concerns are caused by a lack of understanding surrounding biometric security systems.

Many people are unaware that fingerprint scanners and voice recognition apps are forms of biometric security. Millions of mobile device users download these apps as a first line of defense to secure their text messages, phonebook contacts and images. Since there are many ways for data thieves to get past patterns, passwords or number codes, they can only secure a device to a certain degree. This is bad news for businesses that subscribe to the BYOD trend. In these businesses, employees are encouraged to work from their own devices both on and off-premise. These devices hold valuable data about clients and the business itself, so unauthorized access could spell danger.

This year’s widely publicized data attack on the retail giant Target, has raised some concerns about how data is stored and accessed. Security experts believe that biometrics could have provided an iron wall of protection around this data, preventing the attack from occurring in the first place. However, with so many businesses lacking information about biometric security, this unfortunate incident was followed by many others. Biometrics work by providing an added level of security that only the user can get past. Since many people are already using biometric apps to secure mobile devices, it is predicted to become the most popular form of device and data security for both businesses and private use.

How Biometrics Work

Every person has a distinct pattern on their fingertips, in their eyes and in their DNA. Biometric scanners take images of these patterns and compare them to future images. This is very similar to the blink method that astronomers use to track changes in the night sky. Astronomers take pictures of the night sky then they take pictures of the same section of the sky again. They use a computer program to compare the images and the slightest change is noted immediately. With biometrics, the patterns must match for access or access is denied immediately. There are pros and cons to using biometrics (i.e. cost vs ROI and ease of use vs benefit), but the pros greatly outweigh the cons.

All in all, biometrics are becoming a more acceptable way of securing data thanks to the introduction of biometrics on mobile devices. The average user can see how biometrics work and the benefits of using them in a non-threatening situation. This increases the likelihood of them accepting biometrics for other uses such as ATM access, business or home premise access and security alarm access.

The key here is to continue to educate the user on the benefits of biometrics and to find easy to use solutions that require a relatively short learning curve. As more mobile app and computer manufacturers use biometrics as a first point of access to data, consumers and businesses will grow more comfortable with using them as well.

Nicole Williams is a guest blogger for M2SYS Technology as she writes about the relationship between biometrics for mobile ID and increasing public acceptance of biometricsAbout the author: Nicole Williams is a keen technology enthusiast and enjoys blogging about topics like technology and productivity. She is a professional blogger who currently writes for Micro Com Systems.




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Topics for March’s #biometricchat with Cyrille Bataller from Accenture

March's biometric tweet chat will discuss biometrics deployments in large scale capacities.

March #biometricchat to discuss biometrics for border control, voter registration, and visa application processing.

Here are the list of questions that we will cover in our tweet chat on large biometric technology deployments (read this post on March’s #biometricchat for details) with Cyrille Bataller (@CyrilleBataller) from Accenture (@Accenture):

  1. How essential are multiple biometrics for accurate identification on ultra-large reference databases? What are the mechanisms used for multi-modal biometric fusion and can you discuss the importance of fusing biographic attributes and fuzzy matching into the fusion equation?
  2. What are some of the different challenges associated with large scale deployments? With clients of different pre-existing tech investments, is it easier to start fresh with a client that doesn’t have as much legacy IT or is it easier to integrate a biometric capability into a highly developed IT environment?
  3. Recently, the European Commission Directorate General for Home Affairs awarded a consortium of Accenture, Morpho (Safran) and HP a contract to maintain the European Visa Information System (VIS). What does the program entail and what does the European Commission hope to accomplish with it?
  4. Will mobile biometric identification devices eventually be deployed as part of the European Visa Information System project?
  5. To what degree are some non-governmental entities contemplating deployments that might properly be described as “large-scale”?
  6. Interoperability is important in some deployments (passports) and less so in others (national elections). Where it is important, and how is that evolving?
  7. Do you believe that civil liberties hold up large biometric identification deployments in places like the US, UK and other commonwealth type countries (with the exception of India)?

The chat will take place on March the 28th at 11 am EDT, 8:00 am PST, 16:00 pm BST, 17:00 pm (CEST), 23:00 pm (SGT), 0:00 (JST). Please join us and follow the discussion using tweetchat.com. This site will automatically fill in the chat hashtag at the end of all your tweets, no need to type #biometricchat for each tweet you send.

Don’t worry if you can’t make the chat on March the 28th. We will be archiving the discussion and posting it here shortly afterwards. If you have any additional questions you would like to ask Cyrille, please send an email to: marketing @m2sys.com

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you on today’s chat!

#biometricchat Transcript for 04/12 Tweet Chat on #biometrics and the #mobile Market

Transcript of 04/12/12 #biometricchat with Raul Jareno from Mobbeel discussing biometrics and the mobile market

April #biometricchat transcript

Yesterday we had an outstanding #biometricchat on the topic of biometrics and the mobile market. Our guest was Raúl Jareño from Mobbeel, who provides biometric security solutions (iris, voice, face, hand geometry, signature recognition… and more to come) for Android and iOS devices. We covered many different topics on the present and future of biometric technology on mobile devices and throughout the hour, covering the questions:

  1. What do you feel will be the most popular uses of mobile biometrics will be over the next 5 years?
  2. What modalities do you feel are the most practical for mobile biometrics?
  3. What impact will mobile biometrics have on forecasted growth rates for the industry?
  4. Why should biometric device manufacturers or biometric software providers should be focused on mobile biometrics?
  5. What negative consequences can mobile biometrics technology patents and intellectual property squabbles have on the market?
Listed below is a transcript of the chat if you would like to review the answers, comments, additional questions and links that were provided. We would like to again thank Raul and the good people at Mobbeel for helping us with this chat and for bringing their expertise and insight to the discussion. Thanks also to the teams at: Securlinx, Goode Intelligence, Applied Identity and to Heidi Shey for sitting in on the discussion. We will be releasing details on May’s #biometricchat, scheduled for 05/10/12 at 11 a.m. EST,  in the next couple of weeks. Hope that you can join us! (Have a suggestion on a topic for an upcoming #biometricchat? Please leave it in the comments below).