The financial services sector has been one of the fastest to embrace biometric technologies, which offer benefits across a wide range of application areas. This is largely attributable to the wave of digitization that has swept across the sector in recent years. Consumers are increasingly doing their banking online, and financial services firms are recognizing the need for better authentication security than what is possible with password-based systems.
On the mobile channel, this means that a growing number of consumers are logging in with a face or fingerprint scan, and even opening new accounts with a selfie, which can be matched against images of official identity documents. Biometrics are also being used to secure mobile wallets and to approve mobile transactions.
At the same time, many call centers are taking advantage of voice recognition technology that can passively match a customer to the biometric template on file. A growing number of banks are also integrating biometric sensors into their ATMs, allowing customers to access accounts without any need to present a bank card. And numerous major names in the financial services sector, including Mastercard and Visa, are preparing for large-scale launches of biometric payment cards that will let consumers make secure, contactless payments with a simple fingerprint scan.
Still other innovations are emerging, including ‘naked payments’ systems that link a payment account to a biometric profile. This means that consumers can make a purchase with just a fingerprint or face scan and no payment card or other physical token, pointing the way to a possible future in which there’s no need to carry a wallet or even a smartphone in order to shop.