While the use of websites and mobile apps for managing financial services has been steadily growing for some time, the global pandemic created an unprecedented need for digital or “branchless” banking solutions at scale.
Now, branchless banking has fully come of age, and more and more customers are demanding that their banks provide them with simple, secure access to robust digital tools for managing their finances. As a result, banks and other financial services organizations are implementing biometric security as a way to both streamline account access and strengthen identify verification.
How Does Biometric Security Work?
Biometrics refers to the measurement and analysis of people’s unique physical attributes or behavioral characteristics. In the context of information security, biometrics are mainly used to verify user identities, often in conjunction with a username and password. For example, many laptops and smartphones feature fingerprint scanners that allow users to log in without having to enter a PIN code or password. Biometrics are also built into many modern operating systems, such as Windows 10, which allows users to log in using Windows Hello – a facial recognition platform.
The basic premise behind biometrics is that every person can be accurately identified by their inherent characteristics. After all, no two people share exactly the same fingerprints. Other common types of biometric security include facial recognition, finger geometry, iris recognition, retina scanning, and voice recognition.
How Biometrics Help Protect Financial Data
Usernames and passwords have long played a central role in information security, but they can be vulnerable to social engineering scams and a range of other threats. While enforcing strong password policies can help mitigate these risks, relying on passwords alone is not nearly effective enough for protecting financial data. By digitally encoding the unique physical attributes of a user, banks and other financial services firms can greatly improve their security posture and make gaining unauthorized access almost impossible. Biometrics also are all but immune to social engineering attacks, since fingerprint data, for example, cannot easily be stolen.
In addition to giving customers greater peace of mind when managing their financial data, biometrics offer a more streamlined user experience. With fingerprint recognition, for example, the user can simply to tap their finger to the scanner on their device, or in the case of facial recognition, look into the camera.
Keeping up with Global Regulatory Frameworks
While solutions like multifactor authentication (MFA) and zero-trust security are now all but mandatory for financial services firms, the case for supporting biometric authentication is getting stronger all the time. Globally recognized regulatory and security frameworks, such as those published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Fast Identity Online (FIDO), are in the process of being updated to accommodate biometric security. New regulations will likely enforce stricter rules regarding the protection of biometric data itself, which is something financial services organizations need to consider when choosing a biometric authentication solution.
Infrastructure Requirements for Biometric Security Solutions for Branchless banking
Branchless banking provides a bevy of benefits for customers, but implementing biometrics and other innovative solutions aimed at improving experience and strengthening security requires an automated, responsive and robust IT infrastructure. Organizations around the world rely on Panduit for the hybrid solutions that enable safe, customer-centric operations.
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