Give Your Bank Account the Finger with Biometrics

We’re already using our fingers to unlock our phones, companies use biometric verification for time clocks, and for access to pharmaceuticals by hospital caregivers. So why not use biometrics for bank account access?

Debates have been ongoing about the safety of traditional passwords versus biometric scanning. Data privacy advocates have been quick to warn that your biometric identity would be in someone else’s hands. But according to recent news, it appears that fingerprint account access is now at the point of no return.

CNN Money reports that Wells Fargo said that passwords and usernames on mobile phones are an inelegant way to login to your bank account. The customer-friendly nature of fingerprint readers was a factor that pushed the bank toward biometrics. “Shift, Caps Lock, Enter, numbers — it’s like performing gymnastics on your keypad,” said Secil Watson, Wells Fargo’s head of wholesale internet solutions.

The article goes on to say that, “Though the technology has existed for years, data privacy has been a major curveball for banks’ adoption of biometric readers, but the tide has turned. Fingerprint readers used for Apple Pay and other mobile payment services have made consumers more ready to accept biometric technology for paying bills and banking.”

Barclaycard (BCS) U.S. launched a mobile banking app that allows customers to log in with this technology, as well as Bank of America. BofA  “allows customers to use their fingerprint to sign into their BofA mobile app. The biometric technology will work for Android, iPhone, and iPad customers and provides a secure, convenient way to log in without a passcode.”

As members are looking for a more seamless and secure experience with their bank accounts, keeping up with technology will be crucial for long-term growth. It is uncertain if biometric passwords will take off, and it will be interesting to see what the big banks that are investing in the technology will uncover about consumer behavior. What is certain is mobile and Internet banking provides the tools for your members to self-serve.

BY PRESTON PACKER

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