Security is undoubtedly a top priority for online banking customers, so too is convenience. It is therefore not a surprise that banks and financial services start to embrace a better technology or system that allows quick and easy access for the customers yet secured for their online banking experience. The most obvious and accessible with the modern smartphones would be our own identity in its physical form – fingerprint.
Last month, RBS and NatWest, two major UK-based banks announced that they offer login to their mobile apps using just a fingerprint. Stuart Haire, managing director of RBS and NatWest Direct Bank mentioned “There has been a revolution in banking, as more and more of our customers are using digital technology to bank with us. Adding Touch ID to our mobile banking app makes it even easier and more convenient for customers to manage their finances on the move and directly responds to their requests.”
What drives this move by RBS and NatWest is due to two very powerful factors: The swift move to not only online banking but mobile banking in particular and failure of conventional method of identification that is accompanied by rising fraud and breaches. RBS statistics mentioned that nearly 50% of the banks’ 15 million customers actively use online banking with more than three million customers using the mobile app every week. These two banks also claimed that they have 1.8 million active iPhone users who use the app on average 40 times per month. Thus, the Touch ID comes in handy for the iPhone users.
If biometrics is successful in authentication process in mobile banking, it is not surprising that we would be able to pay for our goods and services merely with our fingerprint in the near future.
How long does it take a consumer to verify his identity while making payment at the point of sale? Thirty seconds including the time that is needed for the verification code to be texted to us?
Until making a mobile payment becomes faster than using a credit card, mobile payments will never evolve and the key to making mobile payments fast is to use biometrics to solve the long process of authentication and eliminate the need for users to enter passwords. This results in a seamless and fast transaction process and eliminates consumers to opt out and abandon their shopping carts.
By 2019, Frost and Sullivan predict that biometrics will be considered a mature technology that will naturally migrate to mobile devices. But it seems to be much faster than that. The mobile device has accelerated the rate of technological acceptance. Within a few years, biometrics will be mainstream and technology will be at everyone’s fingertips, literally.
Biometrics may sound like a champion in digital security now, but nothing is 100% secure. Fingerprints or iris scanning and other form of biometrics could be hacked and none of them is foolproof, to date. The best bet would be multi-modal security solutions that use different forms of biometric validation which allows users to use more than one part of their body (especially useful if someone gets a cut or burn, etc).
Mobile banking has evolved tremendously and with the adoption of biometrics security in it, mobile banking will evolve much faster than online banking.