Biometric Security For All, Including Your Bank

Blog Date:  7/5/2016
Author:  Ray Coulombe

Frustrated by thieves stealing personal data from millions of customers, banks are investing in biometric technology to offer better security.

You know the little fingerprint that unlocks your iPhone? Well your bank is now picking up on the biometric security trend after concern that so many email addresses, phone numbers, and Social Security numbers have been hacked by criminals.

The traditional password may be dead.

Big banks now acknowledge that traditional passwords are either too cumbersome or not secure enough and are moving toward fingerprints, facial scans, eye scans, and other biometrics to safeguard accounts.

But it didn’t come easily. It took years of trial and error with the technology since early prototypes showed facial scans failed simply due to bad lighting. Voice recognition was a problem for users with sore throats or in a loud office setting with lots of background noise.

But today, Wells Fargo lets some executive customers scan their eyes with a mobile phone to log into corporate accounts for large transactions. Citigroup also verifies 800,000 of its credit card customers by their voices. JPMorgan Chase customers can gain access to accounts with their fingerprints, but have to use a traditional password to transfer money. Your iPhone probably has a touch pad to scan your fingerprint and the camera/microphone is powerful enough to record the minute details necessary for creating a biometric ID.

But don’t worry, the bank isn’t keeping your facial scans or fingerprints for the F.B.I. In fact, they don’t even keep record themselves. The banks create and store templates, basically long and hard-to-predict sequences based on the fingerprint or eye scan, to unlock your account.

The future is now. To read the full article on NY Times, please click here.


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