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How is COVID-19 changing the acceptance of remote biometric verification in industries outside the financial sector?

By Jan Lunter, CEO & CTO of Innovatrics

COVID-19 has accelerated nascent trends that were only beginning to take hold prior to the pandemic. Technologies that provided services remotely went solely from the hands of first adopters to widespread use almost overnight as businesses and institutions across the globe worked to maintain continuity in a new, socially-distanced, reality. These changes have been far-reaching, prompting the CEO of Microsoft to note: "We've seen two years' worth of digital transformation in two months."

Yet the changes brought to newly-digitized companies can leave vulnerabilities, particularly when these shifts are undergone so rapidly. As remote technology has blossomed, so too have online scams, which have prompted companies to research new ways of customer identity verification. These methods, meant to reduce the prevalence of fraud, are often a new expense for businesses-and one they're eager to take on.

Verified Solutions

When assessing threats to your digital transformation strategy or pre-existing online store, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The average time to recover from identity fraud ranges from 100 to 200 hours strung out over a six-month period-representing a massive cost for companies focused on their bottom line. Consequently, remote identity verification solutions that are intractably difficult to hack have become a vital necessity for any such business seeking to protect its employees from identity theft. 

Biometric verification technology is the obvious solution to remedy the threat of hacking since the technology can verify the user's presence at the time of purchase. Moreover, facial recognition technology is now almost on par with fingerprint verification in terms of accuracy, making it a viable means of identity verification. 

Current biometric solutions not only provide a simple comparison of faces, but are also able to prevent attempts to spoof the system with a photo and can even tell whether a subject is alive and present at the time of verification. These advancements in the technology's prowess help businesses to keep their customers safe without sacrificing speed or accuracy.

In Europe biometrics are soon to play a major role in even minor transactions. The Secure Client Authentication (SCA) - a system designed to prove the identity of a buyer when purchasing anything with a credit card - will be rolled out across the European Union as soon as January 2021 and will be compulsory for businesses. 

These new measures will require buyers to provide an extra security factor to verify purchase, with biometrics being the easiest and most obvious. Unlike smartphones or passkeys, no one can simply forget their biometric features at home, making a facial scan both the most convenient and among the most secure methods of compliance.

Biometric technology has been usually developed with financial services in mind, since they have the strictest rules for confirming the identities of their customers. However recently, telecommunications have begun using the technology to sell their subscriptions without physically needing to get in touch with their customers. Slovakia-based Radost (Happiness), is one example of a fully digital virtual mobile phone operator. The customer simply downloads an app, provides their likeness, physical ID, and a credit card and receives a new SIM card via courier. Once the eSIM standard is widespread, even this last physical step will become unnecessary. 

Safer Travel

Convenience, coupled with the requirement for a touchless and expedient experience, will be a defining feature in the future of the travel industry and airports. The initiatives to use biometric technology to tether a traveller's identity to their airline tickets and baggage checks began prior to the pandemic with the One ID program. However, their deployment is now critical to ensure the smooth continuation of travel henceforth. 

The new additional function of biometrics will be to prove that a passenger has been either tested or inoculated against the coronavirus and can therefore enter the airport, as well as future premises such as hotels and businesses. These digital identification programs are currently underway to ensure safer travel for all.

With these technologies in place, the flow of travelers in airports can also become faster, preventing bottlenecking - which can lead to unsafe conditions. Similarly, hotels are deploying facial recognition technology to ensure access to their premises are limited only to registered or pre-registered guests who have tested negative for coronavirus. These systems can also offer temperature measurements for other services such as taxis and alternative accommodation. 

Change Through Biometrics

The pandemic has changed the way we work to the effect that industries must now recalibrate themselves wholly. Expect to see ways in which user verification has never been implicated before, going forth. Companies installing these multi-varied solutions stand at the forefront of a security frontier and will be rewarded accordingly for taking risks in investing in these new technological advances.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Jan Lunter, CEO & CTO of Innovatrics

Jan Lunter 

Graduated at the Télécom ParisTech University in France. Co-founder and CEO of Innovatrics, which has been developing and providing fingerprint recognition solutions since 2004. Jan is an author of the algorithm for fingerprint analysis and recognition, which regularly ranks among the top in prestigious comparison tests (NIST PFT II, NIST Minex). In recent years he is also dealing with image processing and the use of neural networks for face recognition.

Published Wednesday, April 28, 2021 11:14 AM by David Marshall
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