Answering Your Questions on Biometrics: Biometric Technology FAQs

Biometrics as an industry has seen a huge growth over the last few years. The global biometric market is estimated to reach $82.8 billion by 2021, according to research from Global Industry Analysts. That’s a 19.3% annual growth rate from 2020 (source). If you use FaceID or your fingerprint to log into your bank account or unlock your phone, you’re already familiar with the applications of biometric technology. This method of authentication enables your device to verify your identity through your biological traits and to compare them against previous versions stored as a template.

Biometrics is not an industry without criticism, and certainly one that requires more scrutiny. Biometrics often poses questions about data collection, racial bias, government surveillance, and a host of other (mostly) unjustified worries.

Here are some commonly asked questions that help you understand biometrics and identity verification.

What is Biometrics?

Biometrics are behavioral or physical characteristics that enable digital systems to identify whether a person is allowed access to particular devices, systems, or data. Biometric identifiers include facial patterns, fingerprints, voice intonation, and typing cadence. You can learn more about biometrics and why you should use it to verify identities in this article

Why are Businesses Using Biometrics for Authentication?

From facial recognition to fingerprint scanning, over 75% of consumers in the U.S. have used or are currently using some kind of biometric technology. This percentage speaks to the large number of businesses that are incorporating biometric technology into their security systems. For instance, Apple normalized the use of FaceID with the iPhone X, and Barclays introduced a finger vein scanner to verify user identity.

With biometrics, organizations keep sensitive data secure by ensuring that only authorized users can access it. Your biometrics system will improve your enterprise’s security greatly and keep cyber criminals out.

What Industries are Ripe for the Picking When it Comes to Adopting Biometrics?

We typically think of banking, financial institutions, or government organizations as having the biggest need for biometrics, but there are plenty of other evolving industries that can see benefits. 

  • Retirement/Pension Fund - Managers of retirement and pension funds must regularly provide liveness checks on their fund recipients. Biometrics can guarantee their identity information without your client having to visit a physical location or notary. 
  • Customer Onboarding - Getting your customers’ accounts up and running quickly and securely is essential. Cloud-based identity verification doesn't generally require any integrations into your legacy systems, so it's fast and easy for you and your customers. 
  • Employee Onboarding - In today's digital landscape, stealing a password to gain entry is so easy, anyone can do it. By adding biometrics to your everyday workflow, you allow employee users to use passwordless authentication.
  • Social Media -  By using biometric verification, you will be able to prevent misinformation, fake news, trolls, bots, and other unverified sources on social media channels.
  • Event Registrations - Facial recognition can be used for event registration and check-in to create a fast, frictionless, safe, and memorable experience for your attendees.

For more details about implementing biometrics in different industries, check out this page.

The Advantages of Biometrics

Managing a whole firm’s identity is a costly, time-consuming undertaking. However, an effective IDaaS system secures your applications and data without a hitch. Using a dedicated biometrics system allows your organization to enjoy the following advantages:

Security Improvement and Fraud Prevention

The priority for any organization is keeping sensitive data safe from fraud and cybercriminals. Failure to keep your clients’ and employees’ personal information safe could translate into tangible legal and financial consequences.

On average, a data breach in the U.S. in 2020 costs $3.92 million to fix. These costs include reparations to clients whose data has been exposed and settlements with institutions such as the FTC and the CFPB.

Data breaches aren’t just financially expensive—they also cost your organization its reputation. Building a client base and gaining buyers’ trust takes a lot of time and effort. The risk of a data breach threatens to undo years of hard work.

Therefore, your organization has to ensure that you protect sensitive records. With biometrics, you ensure that your clients’ information is used in compliance with laws and the highest ethical standards.

Enhanced User Experience

Biometrics manages digital identities to ensure that your employees and clients access the resources that they’re authorized for. Biometric recognition allows your system’s users to save a significant amount of time by sidestepping any manual processes, including changing usernames and passwords.

By eliminating manual processes, you greatly enhance the system users’ overall experience. Your clients and employees both benefit from the streamlined access permission that biometrics provides.

Easy Integration with Legacy Technology

IDaaS solutions—including biometrics—were developed for use in cloud-based environments. Some businesses prefer on-premises systems to the cloud, but these cost significantly more to maintain and manage. You must purchase software licenses, check integration capabilities, obtain in-house server hardware, and employ round-the-clock  I.T. specialists to troubleshoot issues.

On the other hand, cloud systems are already configured, and they quickly and easily integrate into your legacy technology. Once you subscribe to a cloud environment and choose an IDaaS provider, you instantly set up biometrics for employees without capital expenditure, integration costs, or I.T. specialists. If your biometrics system undergoes any issues, your IDaaS provider supplies you with the technical support you need.

Does Biometric Technology Secure Your Privacy… and Other Concerns?

Biometric technology is secure, and radically enhances enterprise security due to its relatively friction-free user authentication. It enables businesses to carry out routine operations with fewer hassles and a higher level of protection. You unlock devices, computers, and security doors with a fingerprint or iris scan instantly, as long as you’re eligible to gain access to the particular system.

Every organization has important data that they strive to keep safe from cybercriminals and identity thieves. If your organization uses a cloud-based system, you’ll require an IDaaS system and biometrics to ensure your data’s security.

These days, password protection doesn’t give you the security you need against sophisticated cyber attacks. Manual systems threaten to compromise the security of your company’s data and the privacy of your clients’ private information. Here are just a few other concerns your organization may have about biometric technology.

Racial Bias in Biometrics

This is a huge topic of conversation, and we’ll touch on this in later articles, but it’s important to point out that it does exist. In Gartner’s most recent Market Guide for Identity Proofing and Affirmation, they stated that “An increased awareness of bias in machine-learning-based systems reveals that the facial recognition algorithms used in an important class of identity-proofing products have demonstrated demographic bias in their performance”.

Ethics and Responsible Use

In a report released by the Biometrics Institute, “public opinion had a direct influence in where policy was headed with a number of U.S. cities limiting biometrics use on the public; however,  biometric technologies were still deployed for activities that raise ethical concerns, such as mass surveillance in China.” Many are concerned with privacy, ethics, and data protection on sensitive information, but a lot of these worries are construed from misinformation about biometrics. 


What is an Identity-Based Biometric Solution?

An identity-based biometric solution incorporates multiple authentication and verification measures to secure your system against identity theft and cyber-attacks. These include:

  • Document Authentication. The user takes a picture of their government-issued I.D. (such as a passport or driver’s license) on their smartphone. The system uses artificial intelligence, computer vision, and machine learning to determine whether the I.D. is authentic or not.
  • Identity Verification. The user takes a selfie, and the system determines whether it matches the picture on their I.D. document to check that the person trying to enter the system is who they say they are.
  • KYC. IDaaS systems use Know Your Client/Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) solutions to verify a client's identity and make sure they’re not on any watch lists for money laundering, sexual predation, or other criminal activities.
  • IDaaS. You can utilize the cloud-hosted IAM services IDaaS providers offer through a subscription, which authenticates users to ensure that your employees only have access to the resources, files, and software they’re authorized to use.
  • Signature Capture. This technology detects graphological patterns of the user’s handwritten signature through digital devices, such as active pens, tablets, and drawing pads.

What is an End-to-End Biometric Solution?

An end-to-end biometric solution ensures hassle-free, touchless interactions for your employees and clients. An effective end-to-end solution should include the following:

  • Digital Account Opening (DAO). Your customers open accounts remotely and access your services around the clock using your interactive, straightforward DAO process and biometric verification.
  • Employee Onboarding. As more and more businesses are adopting work-from-home practices, they are digitizing the hiring processes. Biometric solutions run background checks and I.D. tests on your potential employees, entirely automating the employee onboarding process.
  • Merchant Acquiring System. During card payment transactions and processing, biometric authentication identifies users and authorizes fund deduction.
  • Employee Access Control. Access controls reduce the likelihood of fraud by allowing only authorized users into systems that contain sensitive data, especially in large organizations with many employees.
  • IDaaS. In addition to biometrics, IDaaS systems utilize single sign-on (SSO) and multifactor authentication (MFA).

What Identity Verification Capabilities Should Your System Have?

An effective verification system has the following capabilities:

  • Certified True Passive Liveness. Identity thieves can misuse your facial recognition system using photos of an authorized user. Passive liveness detects whether the user is a real, live person.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication. MFA adds protective layers to your system by asking users for more than one identifier.
  • IDaaS for Cloud-Based Solutions. IDaaS keeps all your data in the cloud secure from cybercriminals.
  • Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS). These systems store and process biometric information for law enforcement, national security, background investigations, and other purposes.
  • End-to-End Digital Onboarding Solutions. These solutions deliver smooth, automated onboarding for clients and employees.
  • Fingerprint, voice, and iris biometrics. These technologies ensure whether the user’s characteristics match the ones on the system.
  • Video capture with biometric matching. Video capture recognizes the user accessing the system and matches their features with previously-stored facial biometric data to identify whether they are who they say they are.
  • I.D. scan with global coverage. Identity thieves use copies of their victims’ passports or driving licenses. The I.D. scan verifies whether user I.D. documents are authentic.
  • SDK/API. The API interface and SDK toolkit work seamlessly together for easy implementation and integration.
  • Biometric deduplication. Duplicates of biometric records result in system inefficiency and identification errors. Biometric deduplication ensures that each user has only one account on your system.
  • Workflow management. Large-scale biometric systems require detailed workflow management frameworks so that only relevant personnel execute workflows.
  • Payments. To streamline the transaction process, users choose their payment options from among cash, cards, loyalty points, and QR codes
  • Video conferencing. Voice biometric technology implements verification capabilities in video teleconferencing to make the interactions frictionless and secure.

Start Authenticating Users with Biometric Technology Today

Individuals and businesses alike are rapidly embracing the convenience and security that biometric authentication and identity verification offer.

IDmission’s end-to-end solutions incorporate facial, voice, and iris recognition, fingerprinting signature verification, and OCR technology for a truly comprehensive biometric solution. Our AI-powered machine learning and multifactor fraud devices put us at the forefront of biometric solutions for financial services, government departments, and hospitality providers.

Connect with IDmission today to eliminate fraud and identity theft risks, and to enhance your customers’ experience.

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