Using your voice or facial features to verify your identity may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but the reality is biometric identity verification technology is very much a part of the here-and-now. Furthermore, consumers’ views on this security measure are trending towards positive.

In a recent study from Deloitte, 72 percent of respondents said they would willingly use biometric identification to enable a mobile device for financial transactions. Similarly, an Accenture survey showed that 89 percent of respondents across the U.S., Australia and Europe would share biometric information with government agencies to improve their travel experience.

Clearly, public opinion is turning on the use of biometrics for identity verification, and there are several factors driving biometric verification adoption:

  1. Customer convenience – The average person in the U.S. has 23 online password-protected accounts. We laugh at reports of “ABC123” as the most commonly used password, but the fact is creating and retaining separate, secure passwords for every account is burdensome. Using biometrics to access accounts offers consumers a simple, convenient and secure alternative to the password problem.
  2. Prevalence of biometrics capabilities in existing technology – Today, biometrics capabilities have been built into many widely used devices, such as smart phones, tablets and laptops, making biometrics usage more accessible to the masses. In just one recent anecdotal example, at a FindBiometrics panel at Money 2020, the majority of the room raised their hand when asked to indicate if they had a biometrics-enabled mobile device. Ultimately, widespread availability will help lead to widespread adoption.
  3. Predominance of online, mobile transactions – More and more transactions are being conducted via online and mobile channels, where it is harder to validate a consumer’s identity. These “remote” transactions have a high potential for fraud, yet consumers have come to expect the convenience that comes with conducting these types of transactions. Companies need to find better ways to secure these transactions with minimal disruption to the consumer experience, and biometrics is one way to do that.
  4. Desire for added security and trust – Many companies have chosen to adopt biometric verification because biometric prints are harder to replicate or share than some other forms of authentication. Several big companies, such as MasterCard and Citi, have begun piloting biometric authentication solutions, and others are likely to follow.

While fingerprints are the first modality to find a strong foothold, and among only two the FBI currently recognizes as “true biometrics,” other methods, such as voice biometrics, iris scanning and facial recognition, are finding their way into the mainstream as well. For companies seeking to implement safe, yet efficient identity solutions, biometrics holds tremendous potential.

While it’s clear that biometrics is catching on, how and when to implement can still be confusing. Stay tuned for installment 2 in our3-part series on biometrics, where we’ll unveil some key considerations for successful biometrics implementation. And, for more details on implementing biometrics into your identity management workflows, click here to download our recent white paper.

Have additional questions about whether a biometric solution is right for your company, or how it can best fit within your workflows to meet organizational and customer needs? Contact us.

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