Why Use Biometrics to Verify Identities

Why Use Biometrics

Biometrics is a technology that has gained much traction over the past decade and its use and importance continues to grow. According to Juniper Research, it is anticipated that biometrics will be utilized for more than 18 billion transactions by 2021. Furthermore, the value of biometrically-verified smartphone payments conducted in transactions across the world is expected to exceed $210 billion by next year.

This incredible jump is not surprising. While passwords are helpful in adding a layer of security, they are quite vulnerable when used on their own. In addition, it can be a constant challenge for businesses and their customers to strengthen and maintain passwords. Even then, there’s no guarantee your network and computer systems won’t be compromised. Two-factor authentication significantly increases protection and biometrics can serve as the second factor.

 

In an age where data breaches can equate to severe legal and financial consequences for any organization, businesses cannot afford to ignore security. As a result, many organizations are turning to biometric solutions to achieve the additional layer of security they need to protect data, provide authentication, and prevent their systems from being exploited by cybercriminals and other means of fraudulent activity. Another significant benefit of using biometrics is that it enables organizations to offer customers a level of convenience by providing them with seamless experiences while maintaining a higher level of information security.

 

If you’re looking to strengthen your security or boost the convenience factor, integrating biometrics into your processes might be the perfect solution for you. Here’s a quick primer of why organizations like yours are looking at biometric solutions to solve various issues associated with their operations and customer service processes.

 

What is Biometrics Identification?

Biometrics defined is using unique features each individual possesses and converting the features into data that can be used to authenticate a person’s identity. These features can be physical or behavioral identifiers. Everyone has unique biometric features that are displayed on their physical body, such as face, eyes, or fingerprints (physical). You also demonstrate unique features through activities, such as speech or handwriting (behavioral). This biometric data can be collectively used to create an individual profile that can then authenticate a person's identity. Different types of biometric technology businesses and other organizations use include:

 

  • Facial recognition: Becoming increasingly more popular, facial recognition detects a face and uses the face’s 80 nodal points to analyze and convert the image to data which is then utilized to find a match.
  • Iris scans: Every individual has unique features in their irises that are not visible to the naked eye, scanners collect about 240 different features that help to build a unique identifier.
  • Fingerprints: One of the most mature and commonly used technologies associated with biometric scans, fingerprints are often used to authenticate the identity of someone using a smartphone, tablet, door panel, or any other touchable surface.
  • Voice recognition: With the different nuances in individual voices, speech recognition and patterns are used to identify a person and authenticate their identity by creating a profile of their voice.
  • Signatures: This type of authentication uses the subtleties found in a person’s handwritten signature and subsequently stores them as an algorithm which is then verified by comparing the baseline signature against future signatures.

 

Regardless of the specific type of biometric technique, each one of the above is designed to identify the unique physical or behavioral attributes of individuals. By combining artificial intelligence and machine learning, strong authentication of a person’s identity is achieved. As time moves forward, biometric technologies have become very precise which also explains the explosive growth this technology is currently experiencing.

 

How is Biometrics Used?

Biometrics is used in a variety of ways in different settings where a person’s identity needs to be authenticated. Most of the time companies rely upon passwords, PINS, or even physically looking at documentation, such as a driver’s license, to confirm an identity. Think of the many activities you engage in on a daily basis that require you to prove you are who you say you are. Now imagine how much easier it would be to simplify this process for everyday activities, such as:

  • Opening a bank account
  • Performing a bank transaction
  • Applying for a loan
  • Starting a new job
  • Agreeing to a background check to obtain an apartment lease
  • Engaging in offshore gambling
  • Logging into an email, social media, or e-commerce account
  • Applying for government benefits
  • Entering a government agency or military base

Theme parks like Disney World, Universal Studios, and other regionally-based parks, have long been using biometrics to ensure ticket holders are not sharing multi-day tickets or annual passes with other people to fraudulently enter the parks. Uber uses it to onboard new drivers as a part of their background checks to ensure people are who they say they are.

Biometrics is used in many other settings you probably don’t even realize. Even companies that aren’t known to be “high tech” are actively turning to biometrics as viable solutions for their authentication, security, and customer experience problems.

 

What Types of Companies Use Biometrics?

Biometric solutions are rapidly becoming a component of a broader security strategy. Many types of companies, both financial and non-regulated businesses, use it as an authentication and preventative measure.

Financial companies use it to avert fraud, protect the institution from liability, and safeguard against financial losses due to fraudulent actors. Companies using this tech include banks, credit card issuers, and money transfer companies. Other regulated organizations, such as hospitals, airports, law enforcement agencies, educational institutions, and border control also widely utilize biometrics. In the medical setting, the use of biometrics significantly increases patient safety and protects the facility against errors or breaches.

Like regulated industries and government agencies, non-regulated businesses also use biometrics. They invest in these technologies to provide customers with a seamless experience without letting authentication and security measures get in the way of transactions.

 

  • Cell phone and personal device developers (e.g. logging into a phone)
  • Shared economy apps (e.g. vacation rental companies)
  • Social media apps (e.g. Facebook)
  • Operating systems (e.g. Microsoft)

Other industries, such as hospitality, automotive, retail, food and beverage, and the aforementioned theme parks, are likely going to continue to evaluate biometrics as a part of their authentication solutions and further integrate its use into their routine operations, along with their behind the scene procedures and policies.

 

Why are Companies Using Biometric Technology?

Companies are taking advantage of the many benefits provided by biometric technology and its correlating data. In the long run, it’s a cost savings investment to help eliminate the expenses associated with waste, fraud, or other problematic issues. For instance, organizations use biometric systems to:

 

  • Heighten physical security to ensure unauthorized persons don’t enter their facilities by authenticating both employees and visitors.
  • Improve the time and attendance process to ensure employees are not committing time theft or covering for their co-workers (also known as “buddy punching).
  • Reduce fraud associated with access to certain databases or other “need to know” information.
  • Quicken the entry or login process to reduce disruption for employees.
  • Make customer transactions flow more smoothly to ensure they have a positive experience.
  • Employ better workforce management to ensure proper coverage in all areas of an organization.

All of these, and other uses, help companies reduce both employee and customer frustrations, simplify processes, and boost security. In the end, it equates to better productivity from employees and creates satisfied customers, ultimately boosting profitability as well. For many industries, it also mitigates the risks associated with managing sensitive data.

 

Is Using Biometric Technology Right for your Business?

Numerous organizations find biometric technology to be the perfect solution to their authentication, security, and customer experience pain points. Why use biometrics? Many reasons are often discovered when comparing current identity methods to biometric based methods. If you’re concerned about a new process upending your current protocols, not to worry. Biometrics can be seamlessly integrated with any established process your company currently uses. You can still use components such as card swiping and passwords and pair them with biometrics to improve upon and strengthen your current procedures. Once established, biometrics takes little time and effort since scans are rapid and easy to perform. The biometric data you accumulate you’ll find to be invaluable, especially since it quickly identifies known employees and customers, along with pinpointing threats. For starters, biometrics makes it harder for an unauthorized person to fool a system that goes beyond swiping a card or typing in a password. To decide if it’s right for your company, think about any vulnerabilities you have related to fraud and physical security, along with customer experiences and frustrations.

 

IDmission is dedicated to providing solutions that combine multiple factors to offer you a complete line of defense. Our biometric technology enables you to experience frictionless workflows and perform easy validation of identities. Once you integrate a solution we develop, you’ll see absolutely no interference in or disruption of how you currently operate.

We understand there is no one-size-fits-all solution since companies are diverse in nature with different needs and requirements. IDmission has a proven record of being able to deliver tailored solutions to our customers. To learn more about our different biometric solutions, connect with us today. We’re happy to share more information about our technology and demonstrate how we can develop a customized solution that is right for your company.

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