U.K.-based financial services company BNY Mellon Pershing has announced that it has added biometric authentication to its NetX360 desktop software for its advisors, compatible initially for iOS devices, with support for Android coming some time in 2021.
The move to touchless and passwordless authentication comes at a time where the popularity of the solutions is growing globally, due in part to the fact that biometric authentication is considered more secure than the traditional PIN/password methods, and also as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak that has forced a rise in remote banking for both clients and advisors that requires safer remote authentication options.
For its part, Pershing is highlighting the increased security of biometrics and the convenience of no longer having to remember and rely upon passwords, something that experts have long pointed to as a leading cause of cyber-attacks and compromised accounts.
“This moves [advisors] away from having to remember all the time what their password is and type it into their desktop,” said Pershing directory of technology and client engagement, Michelle Feinstein.
In order to enable the new biometric features, advisors still need to use a secure password to access the app and select biometric authentication. They then will receive a link sent to their mobile device that will ask them to authenticate using either fingerprint or face biometrics, depending on the capabilities of the device they are using.
For added security, users will also be required to change their ‘core’ password every 60 days.
Feinstein adds that Pershing has a lot of confidence in the growth of biometrics for authentication, and that the firm is planning on going beyond using it for logins, implementing it for other processes like client authentication when moving money.
Pershing’s client portal has supported fingerprint and facial recognition for authentication for some time already, though this latest news marks the first time the firm has introduced the option for its advisor portal.
As Financial Planning notes, there appears to be a growing trend of biometrics being used to help advisors securely conduct their business remotely. Fidelity Institutional has plans to add the feature to its Wealthscape Investor portal for advisors, while Cetera Financial Group unveiled plans that will see facial recognition used to analyze client emotions when filling out advisors’ questionnaires.
“You’re starting to see different major players think about how they can move towards a password-less experience,” Feinstein says. “This is one step forward towards that. In the future, I think we can get there.”
Source: Financial Planning
September 3, 2020 – by Tony Bitzionis