Cause and Effect: If you build it, will they come?

July 23, 2014
/   Spotlight

Many financial institutions assume that digital banking is lucrative because the most valuable customers happen to bank online. While there is certainly a correlation between online bankers and higher profitability, quantitative evidence suggests that...

Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services

April 11, 2011
/   Insights

Today, Intuit released the latest edition of the Intuit 2020 report, Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services, which identifies and examines four key trend areas that will  transform the financial services industry...

Fast Facts: Student Loans

January 22, 2013
/   Insights

The Financial Services Roundtable recently released another iteration of its Fast Facts, reliable, bullet-point research about issues facing the financial services industry. Topics span TARP, Dodd-Frank, insurance, lending, retirement savings and more.  Below are some updated Fast...

The Top 10 Trends in the Digital Banking Industry

December 18, 2013
/   Spotlight

2014 is rapidly approaching and as the year wraps, the Digital Insight team has pulled together the top 10 trends in the digital banking industry based on data and trends from studying financial institutions....

Making Banking Fun: Gamification in Financial Services

August 5, 2013
/   Insights

Recently, the team sat in on American Banker’s webinar, “Gamification in Financial Services: Five Proven Ways to Get an Edge,” which shared how leading brands in financial services have applied gamification to reach...

Technology M&As: The Beats Go On

May 29, 2014
/   Insights

The ongoing fascination with Apple’s $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics is entirely understandable, because it’s a cool story. However, it also says a lot about what’s going on between finance and tech.

What We’re Reading

May 5, 2011
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below. Virtual Banking Worlds Provide Tangible Lessons American...

Small Business: Perception vs. Reality

November 21, 2012
/   Insights

In the most recent election cycle, like most others before it, the one sector of the economy that got the most attention was small business.  This is the future, we were told by every...

What We’re Reading: Thanksgiving Edition

November 22, 2012
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom. Mobile Thursday? Plans for Thanksgiving...

According to the FDIC, the total number of banking and thrift charters declined from around 20,000 in 1980 to 6,812 at the end of 2013. A long list of financial institutions has been swallowed up by mergers and acquisitions, and many more have simply disappeared. Institutions that have managed to survive need to improve security efforts to avoid becoming a statistic – because fraudsters don’t discriminate, and losses inflicted by these banking bandits can be crippling.

In the digital age, there is a new paradigm for banking. Most patrons expect to be able to handle their everyday needs, as well as major transactions, without setting foot in their local branch. To meet consumer expectations for on-the-go convenience, mobile banking capabilities must be expanded in conjunction with security measures.

Biometrics authentication is a critical component of mobile banking security. The technology is a win-win – for the financial industry, it offers enhanced security; for consumers, it delivers greater convenience. Organizations can adjust the technology to their desired levels of each (security and convenience), which are in an inverse relationship along a sliding scale.

Used by government intelligence agencies worldwide for decades, growth of biometric authentication in consumer banking has been made possible in recent years by the proliferation of smartphones with high-quality microphones and cameras. Thanks to advancements in technology, the process is easy for consumers; biometric authentication can be completed anytime, anywhere, in a matter of moments.

Biometric authentication is a fitting reply to Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) guidance on modern security measures. The FFIEC urges the use of multi-level, dynamic forms of customer authentication over archaic, static methods like passwords, PINs and invariable security questions. From fingerprint scanning to voice authentication, biometric technology can serve as a banking “bouncer” to keep shady characters out of accounts and from intruding on high-risk transactions. Biometrics and knowledge-based authentication (KBA) can also combine to address security concerns—for example, comparing a selfie with a stored photo at a records bureau for facial recognition. And when a fingerprint, face or voice is the passkey, there’s nothing for the customer to remember or lose.

Voice biometrics, in particular, are highly reliable with a 99.99% success rate – even more dependable than touch identification through fingerprints. By mapping the unique voiceprints of banking customers and storing them in recorded-voice databases, financial institutions can accurately verify that the caller on the line matches the biometric vocal print originally captured. An ideal solution for mobile banking, this authentication method is even viable in noisy environments, such as ballgames or worksites, as advanced technology can decipher the customer’s voiceprint from the background noise in real-time. Voice biometric technology is even being employed for collecting signatures by phone, allowing clients to speak on the dotted line for financial transactions. Today, consumers can truly say “Open Sesame” to easily access their accounts and complete transactions using their mobile phones, no matter where they are.

To remain solvent in a highly competitive banking environment, financial institutions should look to advanced biometrics technology as a key line of defense against destabilizing fraud. When smartly implemented, matching fingerprints, facial features, and voiceprints for authentication is a better bet for mobile banking than traditional security measures, and its convenience goes hand-in-hand with the digital age.


Michael Boukadakis is the founder and CEO of Enacomm, a provider of intelligent customer interactions technology.


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Compelling voices and contributed content from around the web

James W. Gabberty

Gabberty is a professor of information systems at Pace University in New York City. An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University Polytechnic Institute, he has served as an expert witness in telecommunication and information security at the federal and state levels and holds numerous certifications from SANS & ISACA.

Marisa Mann

Marisa Mann brings over 15 years of experience in consulting and financial services industries to the Solstice team, working on large scale enterprise initiatives across many technologies, including specializing in the digital space – Internet and mobile. Mann is passionate about mobile and the endless possibilities for the enterprise, delivering business value through strong brand recognition and driving to excellence in the consumer experience. Prior to Solstice, Mann worked at JP Morgan Chase, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, Washington Mutual, Inc, and Accenture.

Brad Strothkamp

Zachary Ehrlich

25-year-old writer, and as a native San Franciscan, I am unreasonably loyal to Bank of America, if only for their superhero-like origin story, involving the 1906 earthquake and Italian fruit vendors.