South Korea’s Central Bank Exploring Biometric Authentication

South Korea's Central Bank Exploring Biometric AuthenticationSouth Korea’s central bank is looking into biometric authentication systems, according to a BusinessKorea article by Cho Jin-young. The Bank of Korea announced its intentions via a new report.

The plan is to work with the Committee on Financial Informatization Promotion (CFIP) to determine technical standards for the country’s 17 commercial banks by the middle of this year, and to test out potential biometric systems in the second half of the year. Ultimately, South Korean banks would be able to introduce biometric authentication for customers next year, with an emphasis on iris and vein modalities.

In its report, the Bank of Korea explained that it is basically following the trends in exploring these new authentication systems, pointing out that “the focus is shifting to vein and iris recognition, and many ATMs outside of Korea allow cash withdrawal based on the biometric information in users’ veins in their fingers, palms, etc.” It also suggested that both financial and non-financial organizations are adopting biometric authentication technologies, and emphasized that the government is seeking to relax regulations pertaining to them.

It’s a big step forward for a central bank. While many large financial institutions around the world are starting to adopt biometric authentication for mobile-based services, few have branched into ATM deployments. The technology is already here, though, and there are already hybrid systems emerging, so it does seem like it’s just a matter of time before banks wholeheartedly embrace the concept of a biometric PIN replacement.

May 1, 2015 – by Alex Perala