Authentication by facial recognition concept. Biometric. Security system.

With mobile devices being in popular demand, biometric identification has become the need of the hour. Traditional means of identity verification including passwords and other related techniques are becoming vulnerable and subjected to potential cyber-attacks. Financial firms and online businesses are adopting improved means of securing identity which incorporate biometrics for their customer onboarding process. Biometric ID solutions help protect confidential information of the customer that is sensitive to their identity, ultimately providing a seamless experience to the end-user. 

Problems with Traditional Passwords

Conventional passwords have been in use for decades and are based on a combination of alphabets, numeric and special characters. Despite the complex structure of a strong password, witty cybercriminals are inventing new ways and means of hijacking user identity. The newswire by Cision PR shows that on average, a person has almost 70-80 passwords in his lifetime. 

With this number, it is almost hard to memorize a long list of passwords and protecting them is an even bigger hassle. In case a passwords file is breached, and criminals get their hands on it, personally identifiable information of an individual is compromised, and the market reputation of a company put at stake. 

According to Forbes magazine, in the first half of 2019, personal information of nearly 4.1 billion individuals was exposed. The ID verification market is banking on biometrics as a suitable alternative to traditional methods of security. Biometric verification is secure, swift, and easy to perform for a wide number of audiences. 

Significance of Biometric Identification 

Biometric identification consists of recognition and verification of user identity based on unique physical characteristics. These include fingerprint patterns, facial features, complex structures of the retina and iris, and vocal speech of a person. Once considered a work of fiction, biometric identification technology is now mainstream and becoming increasingly popular. 

By using highly sophisticated mechanisms, biometrics provide services to a large number of consumers ranging from financial organizations like banks and insurance companies to unlocking your smartphone device with the touch of a finger. According to a study by Acuity software company, 65% of mobile commerce payments, by the end of 2020, will incorporate biometric authentication. Moreover, revenue generated by biometric solutions in the finance industry is expected to reach almost 8 billion USD in 2020. 

Types of Biometric Identification

User authentication with biometrics can be performed by taking into account the physical attributes of the verifying customer, including fingerprint scanning and face recognition. Both are explained below:

Fingerprint Identification

Law enforcement departments have been using fingerprint patterns to identify and track down potential criminals for quite a long time now. Nowadays, smartphones come with fingerprint sensors which make security procedures smooth and user-friendly. The biometric authentication process provides users with the advantage of enrolling themselves with businesses and organizations at the comfort of their homes. 

Fingerprint biometric technology is estimated to manufacture 1.1 billion units by the year 2020 with a substantial increase of 200 million more in the coming three years. As a result, banking organizations are investing good sums in research and development of biometric services.  

Customers being already used to with unlocking their mobile devices with biometrics, find it convenient in engaging in onboarding processes with similar technology. A fine example of this is when Poland, in 2014, became the first European country to introduce biometric authentication technology at more than 2000 ATMs and superstores countrywide. Another relevant example is Japanese banks using biometric identification to perform surveillance and verification of customer assets. 

Facial Biometric Identification

The most common applications of facial biometrics are in traffic monitoring at high-density public sites, airports and border crossings. Biometrics incorporating facial identification is bringing innovation to the table by saving faceprints of individuals for record-keeping and ongoing monitoring of suspected identities. 
Apart from surveillance and security, face biometrics are being widely acknowledged by banking entities with selfie banking becoming frequently popular. Selfie banking is the new method being adopted by current banks to perform customer onboardings since 2016. The process consists of taking a selfie, and the rest of the verification process is automated, ultimately reducing the turnaround time to a few seconds. The verification process comprises comparison checks between the selfie and the photo on the identity document provided by the verifying user.