The internet has played a colossal role in this era, whether it’s related to personal lives or business lives. We are existing in a digital world where digital services are part of our daily lives from ordering food, booking transport, trading stocks and even banking.

“Mobile devices, high-speed data communication, and online commerce are creating expectations that convenient, secure, real-time payment and banking capabilities should be available whenever and wherever they are needed.” – Jerome Powell (Chair of the Federal Reserve, USA)

Banking services are being digitized for identification of customers, providing customized services, automate minor tasks as well as prevent fraud and theft. In order to do so, digital banking has used pins, passwords and has now turned to biometric technology, which has become an integral part of online and mobile banking.

One of the main concerns of digitization is the security threat which comes with it. Malicious software, spyware and viruses are said to have increased by 54% which threaten not just laptops but mobile phones as well.

Unfortunately in today’s world, a strong and almost infallible authentication tool is a must especially in a sector like banking where finances are involved and daily transactions are in the trillions, if not more. With the increase in fraud, most financial institutions have had to take stricter measures to prevent security breaches and biometrics technology has helped the banking industry by doing so and gaining them the customers trust.

What is Biometric Technology?
Biometrics is an authentication tool and a cutting edge technology, which earlier was seen only in science fiction movies but is now used to unlock a smart phone as well. This technology is a form of identification and verification of physical characteristics or traits which are unique for every individual.

Mobile phones and apps use this technology through their in-built sensors and most banks around the globe are already taking advantage of the same. Let us take a look at some biometric identification methods being used today:

  • Finger print scan:

This is currently the most popular method and is available on almost all devices worldwide.

  • Facial recognition:

This identification method is said to be slightly less effective as it depends on the user’s environment like lighting, angle and position of the users face. In the case of financial transactions, this would require a back-up verification process as well.

  • Iris scan:

This process has been seen in popular movies where hi-tech security is needed and biometric experts actually believe this to be the most reliable way of verification.

  • Voice recognition:

Similar to facial recognition, this works best when paired with other authentication tools as it would depend on the user’s environment.

  • Vein pattern authentication:

This method identifies the person using the pattern on veins on the palm and fingers of the individual. These patterns are said to be as unique as fingerprints and harder to replicate.

Why is Biometric Authentication Needed?
Since time immemorial, it is safe to say that money and all things related to money need security. Banking systems have changed forever with the introduction of mobile banking and billions of people are now using the digital platform for their banking needs.
Unfortunately digitization in banking systems has also lead to an increase in cybercrime and this increase in fraud has led to the rise in restructuring mobile security, which has directed to the growth of biometric authentication for mobile apps.
Financial institutions are aware that security questions, passwords and pins are no longer the safest measures against theft.This has led to a rise in the concept of biometric authenticationas banking institutions are accepting the demand for additional security, in the recent years, and adopting the same.

How is Biometric Authentication the Future of Security for Mobile Banking?
Banks can enjoy several benefits if they look at biometric security as an investment and not an added expense. This technology provides the highest method of authentication ensuring unauthorised personnel cannot access the sensitive banking information of its users while protecting the identity of its users.
This technology also makes it possible for the bank to monitor and track their customer activities allowing them to provide secure, accurate and efficient customer services. Given below are a few benefits and reasons of why biometric authentication is anticipated to reach nearly 2.6 billion users, if not more, in the next few years:

  • Passwords and PINs become obsolete:

Biometric technology is slowly replacing passwords and pin based access for financial transactions. According to most analysts the PIN number will soon be obsolete and banks will need to adopt additional methods of security, namely biometric authentication.
Some analysts argue that PINs cannot be done away with completely and banks will need to adopt multifactor authentication where the customer would need a PIN as well as a biometric modality to proceed with transactions.

  • Devices with biometric technical capabilities:

The number of mobile users with biometric integrations is rapidly growing and nearly 70% of mobile users, had smart phones with finger print authentication capabilities in 2018. Companies such as Microsoft and Intel have also recognized the need for next level security and have built biometric authentication systems in their products.
Apple and Samsung smartphones have fingerprint recognition software which has made it possible for banks to adopt Touch ID for their mobile app authentication. Thus providing an added layer of security beyond just a password.

  • Convenience for customers:

One of the main reasons why customers prefer biometric modalities is because there is no need to remember passwords or pins. This also means there is no chance the account will be frozen in case of wrong entries, enhancing the customers experience and interaction with the banks mobile platform.
Banks are using these facilities to improve the services offered and ensure better security and protection of the clients and their assets. It can be used in a variety of banking scenarios including withdrawing or depositing cash at the ATM. Since it reduces the possibility of fraud, customers have less to worry about and with the new technology users are left with an enriched user experience with greater security and convenience.
Apart from these reasons, the banking industry needs to provide secure and convenient banking to its customers to ensure they are loyal and continue to trust the bank. Biometric technology allows the bank to incorporate an incomparable security system, which benefits the bank as well as the client. 

While biometrics is still in the developmental stages and has some shortcomings which need to be ironed out, financial institutions have the opportunity to optimize this technology. Incorporating this technology into the mobile banking strategy will help provide the users with a value added experience of lesser unfortunate security breaches, improved user experience and a more sophisticated interaction with less friction.
If you wish to know more about biometric scanning and security, you can contact the App Scoop mobile app development team:  

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