With biometrics and its application trending the social media, firms and organizations are jumping the bandwagon to reap benefits. But you would be surprised to know that Biometrics is an age-old process used for your identification. Surprised? If we trace the history of biometrics, as per wiki in 1891 fingerprints catalog of criminals was formulated based on Francis Galton’s theory of fingerprints and physiognomy.And today this buzzword is helping in redefining the banking to rural people by being used as primary authentication or second dimensions authentication. In fact, Biometrics Banking is another trendsetter, and this post would talk about the same, on how Biometrics could enable banking empowering the financial and social inclusion.
What is Biometrics Technology?
Biometrics or biometry is the measurement and statistical analysis of people’s physical and behavioral characteristics as defined by searchsecurity . This science is now used by firms to design authentication and access control features for software and hardware applications. There are different forms of identifiers that are used as authenticators like –
While the above identifiers are being used as features, some of the evolving identifiers are still under tests like brainwave signals, electronic tattoos and password pill [ a microchip that could be swallowed and is powered by the acid present in the stomach. Once at a required position could emit unique radio signals turning your whole body into a password. Sounds a bit crazy!]
Why You Need Biometrics?
According to a research study done by Telesign , passwords that are used to protect our systems are quite vulnerable and could be easily hacked. The studies also report the stats that in the US and UK 73% people use the same password for everything. While experts recommend changing the password every six months, 47% rely on the password that hasn’t been changed since last five years.
Biometrics empowering Digital bankingSo to SECURE OUR SYSTEMS in an efficient yet secure way, biometric identification is needed.
How is Biometrics Helping Banking?
Banking is all about money handling. People often look for fool-proof ways while storing or handling currency, and biometric technology could be a savior to many of us who are looking for a dependable system that could be accessed by only you. The biometric technology not only strengthens the banking infrastructure but also helps in protecting the individuals banking profiles, thereby avoiding identity theft and fraud. Let’s dive to know how –
Biometrics usage In-Branch Banking/ Branchless Banking
You enter a bank branch, get a token with the iris scan and wait for your turn. As your number is displayed on the board, you reach the counter. But to your surprise, there is no bank official, but a screen that knows if you are an existing bank customer or not based on the iris scan, and what are the other services you are availing. As you mention you are looking for a personal loan, the necessary paperwork is done in few minutes with e-verification, and there you go with the loan amount credited to your account. A simple and hassle-free way of availing banking!
Biometrics usage in Mobile Banking
You are driving on a highway, stopped at services, bought stuff for your journey and got your petrol tank full. Opened your bank’s wallet with fingerprint authentication and paid the bill through your mobile. No need to carry cash or remember different PIN and password, just enjoy your drive.
Biometrics usage in ATM/Kiosks
No need to remember different configurations of the PIN as with simple voice recognition you could get cash from an ATM. Or you went to kiosks to transfer money to your distant cousin; you could use one of the biometric identifiers to get it executed.
Biometrics usage in Online Banking
No worry that someone might be peeping onto your keyboard when you type the password, or if you are using a public computer it may save it, Use a Face recognition or fingerprint identifier and log into your banking portal. Transfer funds or avail a new loan with no pressure to remember login and transaction password.
Biometrics usage in Agent/Offline Banking
Another fruitful case for rural people living in remote areas with no or inadequate connectivity. The people are mostly illiterate and not skilled enough to use online/mobile banking. The agent walks in with a biometric system, gets their fingerprint scan looks at the available balance and provide them with the cash. The rural people could use these biometric identifiers as e-KYC to open a bank account and avail other banking services.
The above were some of the use cases that could work well with biometric technology.
Now talking about the biometrics identifier that is being used across the globe, the graph is perfect to help us with that –
Challenges/Risks of Biometrics Technology
Biometrics Authentication does offer convenience, but it also comes with the risks/challenges. Your fingerprint or iris scan is just the data [as the traditional password], and so comes the risk of data theft which could be resolved by biometric tokenization [on similar lines as Apple Pay] that instead of sending the biometric information sends a unique number.
Another challenge is the device capturing your biometric and the enrolment procedure. A frequent case that I witnessed was while linking Aadhar to sim cards [ BSNL], after making an umpteenth attempt when the device did not recognize my fingerprints, the officials asked me to come the other day.
Despite the concerns, biometric authentication or access control is expanding and evolving. Enterprises, individuals or government agencies all are trying best to leverage the technology. And why not when we know security is a soothing phenomenon! Be it tech-enthusiast or a rural person unless the security aspect of any matter is crystal clear, people do not invest in such stuff. Biometrics verification helps in trusting, that unless you provide your fingerprint or iris or voice or any identifier, you would not be able to perform any action. Biometrics help in believing the power lies with you and no one else.
A new non-contact, remote biometric tool could be the next advance in computer security
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