“But new technologies are emerging that could provide alternative options to people like Mr. Wu.”
Multiple banks in China denied an armless citizen a loan because he wasn’t able to provide fingerprints, according to a BBC report.
Twenty-five-year-old educator Wu Jianping lost his arms as a child after suffering a serious electrical shock. He’s still able to produce a signature by holding a pen in his mouth, but financial institutions’ insistence on fingerprint biometrics has now put him into an impossible position.
It’s an accessibility issue that could become more pronounced as increasing numbers of financial institutions around the world embrace the fingerprint scanning technology that is more and more ubiquitous on smartphones. But new technologies are emerging that could provide alternative options to people like Mr. Wu. Contactless modalities like iris scanning – which appears poised to become the next big biometric modality on smartphones – and voice recognition could each easily address difficult onboarding scenarios like the one in question. And major companies like Visa are also embracing the multimodal concept as they experiment with new solutions leveraging a range of authentication factors intended to give customers choice in how they authenticate.
This kind of innovation could lead to some impactful accessibility solutions in the future. For now, though, the Chinese banks in question are being urged to make an exception for Mr. Wu, and some appear to be listening, according to the BBC’s report.
November 23, 2016 – by Alex Perala