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Biometrics is the answer: what is the question?

“Biometrics is the measurement and statistical analysis of people's physical and behavioral characteristics. The technology is mainly used for identification and access control, or for identifying individuals that are under surveillance.”, according to techtarget.com. Today in cash and treasury management and payment systems, biometrics is being used in security and control systems and services world-wide. Finger prints were just the start, now biometrics covers both physical and behavioural aspects in cash and treasury management.

Physical biometrics

Technologies used now include:

  • Scanning fingerprints, irises, faces
  • Scanning blood flow in a finger, e.g. Barclays Biometric Readers
  • Voice recognition, e.g. HSBC voice recognition security system.

And many more are being developed as technology advances.

Behavioural biometrics

Behavioural biometrics is less developed than physical biometrics, nevertheless it possibly has more potential than physical biometrics because it often uses a mult-faceted approach. However, it can be more complex to implement and manage:

  • Some solutions monitor how the account holder starts a conversation or asks for an order to be completed
  • Social biometrics are now being used to develop a person’s behioural footprint gathered through Google, Facebook and other social networks  which is much more difficult to put together than a single fingerprint. Also it requires much more work to assemble a social biometric footprint. Then there are the standards needed to get agreement that this social footprint is acceptable and this one isn’t.

Here the use of Artificial Intelligence and big data will be essential.

Multi-factor authentication 

In identifying who is really there, the view was, for many years, that three factor identification was essential. It was regarded as ‘The Ultimate Combination’, as shown in the Smart Card Alliance’s classic chart below.

Three factor digital identification

Source & Copyright©2008 - Smart Card Alliance 

The emergence of social biometrics supported by big data analyses is showing that this classic view may no longer be applicable. Maybe, all that will be needed are two things: Hitachi’s Finger Vein Authentication Technology (or similar techology) + social biometric footprint which has many facets and could detect whether the account holder is being threatened?


CTMfile take: Possibly a more secure, fraud free future?


This item appears in the following sections:
Fraud Prevention
ID Systems & Services in Fraud Prevention
electronic Bank Account Management

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