Personal finances are more accessible than they’ve ever been. The average consumer has now gone from being limited to using a bank branch when it’s open, to using automated teller machines 24/7 at specific locations, or accessing bank accounts at home on a computer or on the go with a mobile device such as a phone or tablet. However, ensuring that a customer’s money is safe has required more stringent security measures. This is where things can get complicated unless better, more convenient measures like modern biometric authentication are implemented.
Accessing bank accounts in the past required visiting a bank branch and filling out forms while presenting bank books and other documents that verified identity. However, in the digital world, the mainstay for accessing personal finances has been the password. According to PYMNTS.com, 64% of people who access their financial data do so using a traditional username/password combination at least once a month.
Unfortunately, passwords can be an extremely weak form of security, depending on the individual choice. Through ignorance or neglect, some people choose passwords that are easy to guess, leaving their financial data vulnerable to unauthorized access. The solution is to use a “strong password” and username, which typically consists of long strings of random alphanumeric combinations to make guessing impossible. Unfortunately, this also makes the passwords extremely difficult to remember, making this method incredibly inconvenient.
Making Things Easier
This is where FIDO biometric authentication methods can have a huge impact. According to PYMNTS.com, over 60% of consumers surveyed are willing to try a system other than traditional username/password mechanics. This jumps to over 73% for consumers who access online financial services across multiple mobile devices.
Biometric authentication, rather than memorization of a username and password, uses the individual’s unique characteristics that can’t be exploited through guessing. Those characteristics may be the face, fingerprints, voice identification, or other factors. However, the key feature is that a face can’t be “guessed.” Just because a thief may know what a person looks like, that knowledge doesn’t help them access a system that requires a person’s face. When combined with other mechanisms, such as USB encrypted keys, or multiple forms of biometric confirmation, this can form a multifactor authentication system that is faster than inputting a username and password and more convenient since it doesn’t require memorization.
As more and more people move to a model of accessing data across multiple platforms and devices, better, faster, stronger security systems are needed.
If you’re interested in using the FIDO protocol and moving to a passwordless authentication system, read here to learn more.