Over the last decade, we have seen an increase in the use of technology in many business sectors to simplify and better engage customers. This is especially true in the banking and finance sector. Since the start of the digital revolution facial recognition has been gaining prominence over touch and type based interactions due to the convenience it offers without compromising on the security of transactions. In this article the reasons why Facial Recognition technology is important for financial institutions.
The rise of Facial Recognition in banking
Despite an increase in the use of EMV cards (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) coupled with password creation policies, there has been a surge in banking fraud cases. As a result of the billions that are lost by major banking institutions, there has been a call to switch to biometric facial recognition to curb this issue. It means that banking software will rely on face scans which it then compares with similar ones that were uploaded by the bank’s personnel into their system so as to verify the customer’s identity. The aim is to authenticate the identity and only allow a transaction to go through if the account owner’s identity is positively identified. This customer ID authentification process is known as KYC (Know Your Customer).
The importance of Facial Recognition for Banks
Why is it important to integrate biometric facial recognition software with banking software? Well, for one there are more positives to this than is the case with more conventional methods of yesteryears. In fact, using passwords comes with a rather serious caveat. People create passwords based on what they know. So it is easy for a hacker to employ a number of tactics to crack the password. Another major flaw is that people can have too many passwords eg. for social media accounts, emails, and e-wallets as well. Also, creating a complex password can make it easier to forget and when a banking customer requests for a temporary code via email to reset it, then a hacker can intercept the inbox.
Using facial recognition means that the banking customer has only one face which can allow them access to all their bank accounts. In cybercrime, a hacker can infiltrate a person’s social media profile and learn key information which can enable them to answer security questions such as ‘what was the name of your first pet?’ The biometric software only authenticates a customer based on who they are. A hacker can only manage to access a bank account based on what they know about the customer. So this makes it easier for a banking customer to transact online on a mobile device by using a device that has authorized access and secondly by using a live facial image of themselves via the phone’s camera.
Facial Recognition software has a liveness detection which prevents hackers from using a picture of the customer for impersonation purposes. It also applies to other biometric modalities such as fingerprints where the liveness detection does exactly that – it assesses the ‘liveness’ of the facial image to guarantee that it is a live image and not a (still) picture or a spoof as it is known. The recognition system also allows customers to access their bank accounts from computers. It is possible via the webcams which are built-in particularly in laptops. While logging into their account, facial biometrics is an additional layer of security.
The biometric facial-recognition software helps minimize fraud where online hackers unlawfully use passwords and other data to steal from banking institutions. The software verifies a person’s identity before processing any transaction.
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