Biometrics in banking and finance; what this means for your organisation’s security

Banking and finance companies have always relied heavily on technology, whether that’s computer databases or ATMs. Due to the rapidly advancing nature of the industry, it's essential banks ensure their customer-facing platforms are aligned with the latest technologies - particularly if they don’t want to get left behind. We’re already beginning to see many organisations using biometrics technologies as part of their customer identification processes. The biometrics industry is forecasted to reach a market value of over $32 billion by 2022; impacting the functionality of numerous industries. In response to this, biometrics is likely to significantly change the infrastructure the banking and finance industry.

Banks trialling biometrics technology

Using unique physical features to confirm user identity offers customers an easier way to access personal information. Technologies such as fingerprinting and dynamic signature analysis are not only easy to install, they allow consumers to access their information in a millisecond.

While biometrics is still a relatively new stream of technology, there’s a significant increase in banks introducing these technologies across various platforms. HSBC have implemented voice recognition for telephone banking, MasterCard are trialling fingerprint identification on debit cards, and Lloyds are introducing facial recognition.

Although these trends are just beginning to emerge within the sector, banks need to act fast to keep up with competitors. Therefore all major banking organisations are likely to begin implementing a range of biometrics technologies soon. And as these changes come into play, specialised developers and engineers will be required, so it’s essential your business has the right talent in place.

Popularity of biometrics technologies

Andy McGuire, HSBC’s Chief Operating Officer, claims biometrics is “much more convenient and offers a much better customer experience.” It offers people the opportunity to bypass the need for passwords, avoiding the frequent “forgotten password” scenario that comes with it.

A global report conducted by HSBC revealed UK consumers in particular are eager to embrace the benefit of biometrics technologies, finding systems such as iris recognition highly convenient. According to Finextra, many banking customers who don’t have fingerprint access are highly frustrated. 

As these technologies become increasingly popular within banks, its likely biometrics will follow in the footsteps of online banking and become a standard process expected by all users. So, by adding these innovative features to your service, you have the potential to appeal to more customers.

Preventing security concerns

While the convenience of biometrics in banking appeals to consumers, the perceived security risks associated with these technologies don’t. HSBC’s report revealed only 46% of those surveyed trusted fingerprint recognition as a safe replacement for their password. Cyber security concerns are at an all-time high and with technology advancing at such a rapid pace, this doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon.

As technology looks to change the landscape of banking and finance institutions, it’s better to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to your security. When biometrics is introduced on a larger scale, your customers could be concerned. You can address this by making sure you have a team of cyber security professionals in your organisation right now. Taking active steps towards security lets your customers know that when met with change, their security remains your biggest concern.

At Huxley, we have access to a wide range of cyber security professionals ready to meet your every need. We work closely with you to make sure you have the right talent in place to meet the specific security requirements of your organisation. Get in touch with a member of our dedicated security team and make sure your business is not only protected, it also appeals to your customers.

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