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In Part I of this series, we discussed the driving factors behind biometrics’ increasingly positive perception amongst consumers. Of course, moving from concept to reality is an entirely different story.

However, several big companies are, in fact, leading the way when it comes to having employee and customer-facing biometric-centered identity management (IdM) solutions in place. Technology research firm Gartner estimates that by 2016, 30 percent of companies will use biometric identification for employees. Financial services companies like MasterCard, Visa and US Bank, have been piloting a number of customer applications of biometrics, and several transportation agencies are also starting to introduce biometrics into their IdM process.

As with any project, a smooth implementation process is the key to success. To ensure a successful integration of biometrics into your IdM process, it is critical to take a measured approach that generates buy-in from both internal and external stakeholders. This also allows you to develop clear expectations on the outcome of the implementation and fully vet the technology and associated processes before conducting a full-scale launch.

Prior to rolling out a biometrics IdM solution to your customers, your internal team must be on board with the project. To generate internal buy-in:

  1. Identify and engage stakeholders early – Changes to the IdM process affect departments across your entire organization. Involving the appropriate stakeholders early ensures the solution will work for the whole organization and reduces any ugly surprises post-launch.
  2. Create a roadmap for implementation – Work with stakeholders to understand your priorities, operating environments and future business plans.
  3. Communicate match rate and other measurements – Quantify what a successful program looks like so that everyone can orient their efforts towards a shared goal.
  4. Conduct internal beta tests before going live – Select a set of employees to act as users to fully explore and optimize your set-up prior to going live with external customers.

Once you have internal buy-in, it is imperative to communicate the value of using the tools to the end-user. To encourage customer acceptance:

  1. Communicate privacy policies around usage and storage – Be upfront and proactive in your communications when rolling out your biometric solution. Send out notices via multiple customer communication channels, and make sure your policies are clearly displayed on any interaction points where customers they may be asked to supply their biometric print (website, mobile app, etc.).
  2. Stress security and convenience to increase adoption – As we pointed out in Part I of this series, consumers are largely receptive to the idea of biometrics as long as they see the value in their participation. Reassure customers of the safety of the process, and clearly demonstrate the value they will receive.
  3. Implement in stages – Just as you want to test on internal employees before taking your biometric solution external, you may want to pilot the solution with a select set of customers before rolling it out to your entire customer base. This “beta” group may be defined by a specific product type, customer tier or geographic area.
  4. Provide incentive for early adopters – Consider allowing customers to “unlock” certain functionality or transactions ONLY if they enroll in your biometric program. By tying streamlined, self-service access to your biometrics program, you reinforce its value while creating a pool of “raving fans” ready to evangelize the program to more hesitant end-users.

While these strategies are key to ensuring successful biometrics buy-in from internal and external stakeholders, they are not the only factors to take into account when implementing and preparing for the addition of biometrics into your IdM process. Stay tuned for the final installment in our 3-part series on biometrics, where we’ll cover some additional consideration when implementing biometrics. And, for more details on implementing biometrics into your identity management workflows, click here to download our recent white paper.

LexisNexis has led the deployment and use of large-scale fingerprint biometrics in nearly 100 countries and has extensive experience designing IdM processes and solutions that fit the specific needs of our customer organizations. 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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