Biometrics is not new. It’s been on the authentication scene for some time. What’s changed is a dramatically improved user experience. Apple and its roll out of Touch ID and Apple Pay is a prime example of how big-name brands are leveraging better technology to deliver better functionality.
In the past, consumers who wanted to use a biometrics-protected solution had a couple of challenges. Most notably, accuracy. The technology simply wasn’t all that great, and it was difficult to get an accurate read of a fingerprint, an eyeball, or someone’s voice patterns. Second, biometrics-based solutions weren’t coordinated, so enrollment had to happen several different times across several different platforms. Not exactly user-friendly.
Now, if all consumers need to do is enroll once through their smartphone registration processes, they are probably okay with it remaining a bit clumsy. Consumers are likely to tolerate a few hiccups so long as it’s only one time. Then all the other apps and entities (Amazon, brokerages, financial institutions, etc) can leverage that same biometric profile so as not to fatigue the fingerprint, eyeball, or voice owner.
I don’t think it’s too strong to refer to biometrics as a game-changer. Consumers hate passwords. Not only are they difficult to remember, generating them in the first place is becoming increasingly difficult as more talking heads (me included!) share more tips on how to make them more secure (this is where all of you with that 1-2-3-4 password roll your eyes).
It’s an important area for financial institution leaders to keep a scannable retina on (see what I did there?).