Assessing the Value of Biometrics for Banking Security

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biometric identification technology is increasing for the banking and financial services industry
More banks are assessing the value of using biometric identification technology to protect customer identities and secure employee transactions through concrete audit trails

The following is a guest post written by Lawrence Watson:

Using Biometrics for Banking to Stop Financial Service Identity Theft

With identity thieves running rampant throughout banking systems and technology infrastructures, and security professions working hard to come up with ideas to keep your identity and financial information safe, we are in an era of security innovation. The simple fact is that aside from the worry, inconvenience and the time it takes to clean up the mess, identity theft is costing taxpayers millions of dollars every year. According to the US federal trade commission there is a new theft every three seconds; it is time to put a stop to it.

There are advanced biometric technologies being adapted and innovated to make stealing an identity harder, if not impossible. Some technologies are more accurate than others and the most common biometric modalities used in financial services to protect customer identities include:

Voice recognition (through computer speakers/microphones)
• Fingerprints
• Vascular biometrics – fingervein and palm vein

How Will it Help?

Hacking into a bank account that does not use biometrics, or other secure forms of recognition, to properly identify a customer can be fairly easy for a seasoned cyber-criminal. The most common method they use to access accounts is to contact the bank and pretend to be the account holder to obtain a password reset. They manage to convince the bank that they are indeed the right person, have lost access to email or other various ways to get the password reset and get it given to them over the phone. However, if they were scanned with either voice or facial biometrics first it would be nearly impossible to fool the system; and there would be the requirement for face to face password resets in most cases.

Should Banks be Doing More?

In an economy that has been having trouble, like the current one, and with crime on the rise, banks have an inherent obligation to make consumers feel secure and reassured. Protecting their money simply needs to be a priority. It will not only make consumers feel more secure, but it will help the banks lower costs, and promote positive brand sentiment.

Biometric fingerprinting, voice, and facial recognition is already becoming a more common practice with smart phones to make online shopping and payments more secure. Why shouldn’t this or another viable biometric modality also be used when you are doing banking, be it online or in person? The technology is out there and it is time for financial institutions to take advantage of biometrics for banking to protect their customers.

Security at the Employee Level

Not only should banks be securing their customers through requiring biometric verification, but they should consider using it for employees too. By making sure that only certain information is accessible by first requiring a biometric scan, there will be a firm and unmistakable way to track any issues and proactively prevent insider fraud. If an employee goes rogue it can be easy for them to find a password or use another log in by a fellow employee. However fingerprints are of course unique. Biometrics for banking is truly the way of the future for security in the financial services industry!

Lawrence Watson runs a business selling home and property security systems. Writing is as much a passion of his as his business is and the two often cross paths.

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John Trader

John Trader is the Public Relations and Marketing Manager with M2SYS Technology, a recognized industry leader in biometric identity management technology. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA M2SYS Technology's mission is to pioneer the high-tech industry by delivering long-term value to customers, employees and partners through continued innovation and excellence in all aspects of our business. M2SYS continues to innovate, build and bring to market leading-edge biometrics solutions that revolutionize the industry and expand the applicability of biometrics technology in our marketplace. You can view their Web site at or contact them via e-mail at

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