How Biometric Authentication Provides a Frictionless Customer Experience

Biometric technology is growing in popularity as a way to authenticate users. Gartner predicts that the number of businesses using biometric authentication on smartphone apps for workforce access will grow from less than 5% in 2018 to 70% in 2022.

One of the drivers behind the steady adoption of biometric authentication is accuracy. Biometrics, after all, is the most accurate way to verify a user’s identity. No two fingerprints or faces are alike.

But another driver behind the adoption of biometric authentication is demand from consumers for fast, secure, accurate ways of verifying their identities. If current trends continue, the days of having to remember your mother’s maiden name or the name of your first pet will soon be history.

The Agony of Aging Authentication

After all, many of today’s authentication methods are clumsy and error-prone. Customers, for example, often mistype or forget their PINs. Many customers also use weak passwords that are easily guessed, and many use the same password for multiple online accounts, meaning a breach of one password gives criminals access to all other accounts.

Another drawback to traditional authentication methods is time, or lack of time, to be more precise. Entering a PIN takes time. Typing a password takes time. Going through the challenge-and-response process of a typical call with customer service (“I first have to ask you a few questions. What is the name of your favorite book?”) also takes up valuable time and annoys customers.

Four Ways Biometric Authentication provides frictionless  Customer Experience

For these reasons and a few others, organizations are looking to biometric authentication not only to improve their security but also to improve the customer experience. Here are the top four ways that biometric authentication gives customers a frictionless experience when they interact with your organization.

Makes Onboarding Quick and Easy

Banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions use new-customer-onboarding processes that require customers to provide a set of documents to verify their identity and confirm their home address. But with the fast move to virtual imposed by COVID-19, many institutions are still fumbling over digital onboarding.

This is a manual and clumsy process for both the institutions and their customers. The retail branch must obtain a copy of an applicant’s driver’s license, a utility bill, or filed tax return. They must also obtain a photo of the applicant (often in the form of a selfie taken on the customer’s smartphone) to perform the identity verification checks. The retail branch then sends this information to back-office operations for verification. Not only is this process manual, time-consuming, and frustrating, it’s exacerbated by the need for virtual onboarding due to COVID.

Today’s biometric authentication technology eliminates this manual, back-office identity-verification process. IDmission’s AICR (Artificial Intelligence Character Recognition), for example, easily captures the required data to complete a thorough identity check in one fluid process.

The firm’s SDK verifies identities by comparing the photo on an ID to a passive liveness-based selfie. It then extracts data from a utility bill and compares that to the ID. With this data compared and completed, financial institutions eliminate 100% of the manual processes. This improves the user experience and reduces abandonment rates.

Creates a More Personal Experience

Today’s legacy identity verification systems are rigid. They require a password or require a PIN. They offer customers no flexibility in how they identify themselves.

Biometric authentication technology, on the other hand, lets organizations offer their users and customers multiple ways to prove who they are. Businesses, non-profits, government departments, and other organizations can personalize their customers’ experience by letting customers choose the form of identification they want to use, whether face scan, fingerprint scan, or another method.

By letting their customers choose, organizations give their customers more control of what biometric data they want to submit to the app on their phones. When customers feel in control of their data, they have a better customer experience. Now that’s what we call “frictionless”.

Reduces Fraud

There’s only one thing worse than discovering you’ve been defrauded, and that’s not discovering it. Identity theft and fraud are at the top of the list of concerns that customers have with banking and shopping online. Businesses are also concerned with theft and fraud perpetrated by employees and suppliers.

Biometric authentication reduces fraud because biometric identifiers are difficult to mimic. These unique identifiers include:

  • Fingerprints
  • Palm veins
  • Faces
  • Irises
  • Voices 

Using a stolen username and password is one thing. But trying to fool a facial recognition system with a photo of a customer is another thing entirely.

Biometric authentication systems are extremely secure. They also undergo an immense amount of testing in-house and in third-party testing labs before they are certified. 

Facial recognition technology, for instance, ensures perfect image capture and rejects spoofs. Facial data is extracted automatically through the app with a selfie, and then compared against the image of the customer in the company database to ensure that no one is trying to access sensitive applications using different names.

With facial recognition, one face means one account. Reducing fraud gives customers a safer experience. Customers have peace of mind knowing that their personal information is secure with biometric technology.

Provides an End-to-End Customer Journey

Businesses are moving steadily towards delivering omnichannel customer experiences. The goal is to seamlessly connect every channel that a customer uses when interacting with a business so that customers can continue an experience they start on one channel (on a webpage, for example) once they move to another channel (a phone call with customer service, for example).

Biometric authentication has the potential to connect the customer journey from start to finish so that there aren't any gaps in the journey. These end-to-end solutions allow financial services firms, government organizations, and enterprise-size businesses to build fully integrated, omnichannel workflows that include everything from customer onboarding to document authentication, from consumer identification to auto-form-filling from authenticated IDs.

The result is that customers who opt for biometric authentication have a seamless experience as they interact with the organization.

Give Your Customers a Digital Experience they Remember

Customer experience is the new competitive advantage. Your competitors may mimic your products and services and match your prices, but the level of customer experience you deliver is impossible to copy.

Customer experience is the new battleground because today’s customers are increasingly fickle. A whopping 38% of customers will abandon traditional onboarding processes and head to digital options. Today’s customers want to access their accounts whenever they want, and if your company doesn’t have a secure, quick, convenient, and seamless way for them to access their information online, they may just switch to a competing company.

Biometric authentication helps you improve customer experience by making customer onboarding quick and easy, delivering a more personal experience, reducing fraud, and providing an omnichannel customer journey.

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