Financial Biometrics Month: Checking the Pulse of Biometric FinTech at Money20/20

(via Money20/20)

Money20/20 USA brought the biometrics industry to Las Vegas this week, where digital ID and strong authentication were so integral to the conversations, panels and exhibitions that it truly felt like an important milestone in identity. For years, FindBiometrics has been helping to facilitate the biometrics presence at the Money20/20 conference, so it always serves as an excellent opportunity to check in on the major trends in FinTech, identity and authentication as it pertains to the biometrics industry.

This year, three key biometrics and digital identity themes emerged from Money20/20, playing out on stage, in conversation and at the exhibition hall.

Collaboration is Key

The mergers and integrations we’ve seen industry-wide over recent months seemed to indicate the privileging of collaboration between vendors as relying markets increasingly demand robust identity solutions with an eye for customer choice. At Money20/20, this was exceedingly apparent. In addition to a number of relying parties showcasing their own biometric integrations – a notable example being the Visa ID Intelligence stand at the FIDO Pavilion, which is powered by Daon’s multimodal biometrics tech  – two major industry partnerships exemplified the performance boost that can be achieved through meaningful integration and teamwork.

Monday brought the announcement of Jumio’s partnership with FaceTec, integrating the latter’s much lauded 3D facial recognition and liveness detection into the former’s Netverify customer authentication platform. In an interview with FindBiometrics, FaceTec CEO Kevin Alan Tussy called the partnership powerful, gesturing to his company’s certified presentation attack detection as a differentiating factor that led to the minting of the collaboration. The FaceTec-Jumio partnership is exemplary of how important collaboration has become in the competitive financial services space – Netverify already had a facial recognition component, but by integrating ZoOm it has committed to teamwork as a way to ensure it stands out from the myriad remote onboarding software solutions proliferating the market.

FacePhi used Money20/20 as the stage to unveil its inPhinite multimodal biometrics platform, which in addition to the company’s facial recognition also offers voice, contactless four-finger, and periocular biometry. This level of scalable multimodality caters well to both the security and convenience factors in such high demand, but more to the point, they also depend on partnerships. While some of the partnerships enabling the inPhinite platforms multimodality are still under wraps, the voice component was revealed to be supplied by ID R&D. The resulting component, PhiVox, can authenticate users in 0.2 seconds, according to the companies’ announcement of the partnership.

Frictionless Convenience is Here to Stay

As explored in our recent feature about the convenient revolution in financial biometrics, the biometric FinTech space has been heading toward frictionless commerce since its emergence. The value proposition for biometrics in finance is security and convenience, after all, with a strong emphasis on the latter. At Money20/20, it became quickly apparent that not only is this definitely the direction financial biometrics are still heading, but in many tangible ways frictionless finance has already been achieved.

On the first day of the conference, during the two FindBiometrics-moderated panels, frictionless user experience was the most prominent theme. During the first panel, “AI & Biometrics Superheroes, Fighting Fraud Together,” the emphasis on frictionless experience was shown to extend to the enrollment process, with BioCatch Senior Threat Analyst Erin Englund going so far as to suggest there doesn’t even need to be an enrollment process anymore, asserting passive modalities supported by AI can simply learn to recognize a user. This sentiment was echoed by Sensory CEO Todd Mozer, who asserted his multimodal biometric software learns to recognize a user’s face, voice and periocular features as it is used.

That conversation was immediately followed by “CLEAR-ing a Frictionless Future with Biometrics” – essentially a live case study of frictionless biometrics in the real world, in which FindBiometrics President Peter O’Neill spoke with CLEAR CEO Caryn Seidman Becker and two partners about naked payments and biometric access in Seahawks Stadium (aka Centurylink Field). As O’Neill said in his introduction of the panel: “Today we are going to talk about the biometric FinTech promise in a tangible way; something that until recently was just not possible on this scale.”

Biometrics Are Part of the FinTech Ecosystem

The overall biometrics presence at Money20/20 was astounding. Dozens of biometrics vendors showcased solutions on the exhibition floor, and even non-biometrics companies used the voice, face and behavioral recognition integrations of their own apps as differentiating factors. Face and document-based mobile remote onboarding is quickly becoming an expected convenience in banking, cryptocurrency and other financial services, while voice assistants that can passively authenticate your voice as you conduct speech based transactions (like checking an account balance or conducting a money transfer) offer a glimpse into the near future of AI powered commerce.

Even the biometric credit card made an appearance too, and while that technology is slightly more nichified than the highly prolific software-based biometrics mentioned above, our interview with IDEX VP David Orme made the advent of fingerprint-secured tap payments tangible.

In the end, Money20/20 USA 2018 showcased the success the biometrics industry has achieved as a whole since the mobile revolution initiated by Apple’s launch of Touch ID. For five years, vendors, organizations and proponents fought to make the case for biometry-based strong authentication in banking, payments and beyond. Now, the case has been made. Biometrics are here, they’re maturing, and the real work is about to begin.

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Money20/20 USA is over, and we’re back from Las Vegas, but the conversations initiated at the year’s biggest FinTech event will continue throughout Financial Biometrics Month and culminate in the upcoming webinar: What Your Money Knows About You: AI, Biometrics and Commerce.

Financial Biometrics Month 2018 is made possible by our sponsors: BioCatch, FacePhi, and IDEMIA.

October 26, 2018 – by Peter B. Counter