The Raddon Report recently highlighted data from Raddon Research Insights, which found that nearly half of consumers have been impacted by identity theft, either personally or because someone they know was directly impacted. The same July article indicated that in the past three years, annual consumer losses due to fraud have averaged in excess of $1 billion. With the threat of cybercriminals creeping in on more aspects of our daily lives, is it time for your bank to consider using biometrics to increase your customers’ security?
Biometric technology, which ranges from use of fingerprints to other more complex measurements, is most often used an alternative to passwords for security and other purposes. The article noted that, while certain governmental and business sectors have used biometrics for years, banks have traditionally relied on passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs) to confirm a customer’s identity.
As an article from the last issue of The Bank Beat indicated, use of strong passwords is difficult for banks to enforce with their employees, much less consumers. The weaker passwords consumers tend to use, while perhaps easily remembered, are unlikely to verify identity since they may be shared or easily decoded by cybercriminals. The Raddon article also indicates that most banks have yet to fully incorporate biometrics as a security measure due to concerns over consumer adoption rates and comfortability. However, research from Raddon Research Insights showed that most consumers, regardless of age or income level, would be comfortable providing palm authentication for in-branch transactions.
The article went on to discuss whether adding this technology would be a valuable security measure – both in terms of whether it will provide additional authentication of customers’ identities as well as whether the customers would value the additional security provided. Ultimately, it seems incorporating biometrics is an inevitability for adding security to banking across a variety of bank-consumer interactions as a means of preventing identity theft, including online, in-person, and ATM transactions.