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Biometrics and Banking – A Brave New World

The benefit to the industry is it is forcing us to take a look at what we can do with available or emerging technologies to further fortify our systems. In particular a sharpened focus on credentials and authentication methods has been the recent hot topic, led by discussions around bio-metric authentication. 

Bio-metric Authentication has been discussed in our industry in the past with varying levels of excitement surrounding it, but only recently have we seen it showing up consistently in the press spotlight. Multiple articles have appeared recently in industry publications touching on a major US Bank trialing voice-based bio-metric  authentication and an African bank’s major project to register their clients. All in all, bio-metric authentication has seen an uptick in headlines. 

As we talk about the new frontier in terms of how we bank, we would be remiss not to discuss how these channels are opening up new opportunities to strengthen and test new options. Voice recognition software has been around for quite sometime, however with the emergence of smartphones only recently have banks been able to start marrying the two concepts, not to mention vast improvements in technology on both sides. As wearable devices enter the space, will we start to see retina scanning or biorhythms monitoring for authentication? I don’t think it is that far fetched an idea. 

So while the short term fallout from the major retailer breaches seem painful, it is helping to usher in a new frontier of authentication in banking…hopefully voice is just the beginning. 

Payments Expert

ACI Worldwide powers electronic payments for financial institutions, retailers and processors around the world with its broad and integrated suite of electronic payment software.