Do We Need Biometrics?

New technologies are changing the world we live in with whiplash speed. Banks are trying to win customers with new digital services. The demand for customer communications over digital channels is growing rapidly; people want to have access to increasingly more services without leaving their home and regardless of their location. But how can a bank identify their customers remotely, quickly and in a secure manner? This is where biometric technologies can help businesses out. Find below an article by Pavel Myshev, Cinimex’s Deputy Key Accounts Director, originally published in IT Manager.

As we speak, Russian banks are gathering biometric data for their own needs and for the purposes of the Unified Biometric System (UBS). In both cases, clients willingly share their biometric data in order to gain access to remote identification. Our portfolio includes solutions, enabling integration of services with biometric identification platforms. We also have a project for internal integration aimed at fraud control. Biometrics may have several different applications in credit institutions. The technology allows banks to identify new customers over the UBS and open new accounts without showing an ID (passport) and going into the bank. Customers may access their bank’s services even when there is no branch nearby, or the customer themselves is in a remote location or abroad. Besides, the use of biometrics improves customer experience and service speed, thus, it can enable customer recognition at the entrance to the bank, the technology can also approve transactions and promptly identify the best service offer. The last but not the least – biometrics provides banks with additional protection against external and internal fraud. This is a much more sophisticated security system compared with PIN codes and SMS alerts. However, despite these upsides of biometric systems, the number of clients that have shared their data remains rather low. To a large extent, this has to do with limited awareness on the safety of biometrics and its user convenience. Speaking of whether the technology is secure, in practice UBS uses distributed data storage: the impersonal biometric reference is stored separately from personal data. The platform works with a multitude of constantly changing algorithms, which makes it impossible to hack into. Our practice shows that while a few years ago, biometric technologies were met with caution and treated as a thing of the future, today such projects are being implemented not only in the government and financial sectors, but also in retail, education and health care. In the foreseeable future, many companies will offer their clients services based on biometric data, they will become an essential element of our life.

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