Biometrics in Financial Mobile Transactions

Highly optimized biometrics authentication solutions for financial institutions.

These days, our smartphones are rarely more than an outstretched arm away. To many, these ubiquitous devices are a lifeline.  They operate as a gateway to much of our sensitive personal information and are increasingly being used to conduct financial transactions 24/7.

Recent forecasts () predict a 25% growth in mobile commerce and banking financial sector transactions over the next few years.  However, that increase is expected to be accompanied by a similar increase in unauthorized data breaches. Not surprisingly, financial institutions are now ready to invest in next-generation secure access systems that out-perform current password driven identity validation and access methods.

Biometrics recognition systems rely on the use of physical attributes and characteristics that are unique to each individual. For that reason, they are considered to be far more secure, and thus, offer the potential to significantly reduce identity fraud. This is especially important for mobile ‘card-not-present’ transactions, currently the largest cause of financial loss to individuals and financial institutions.

Fingerprint recognition is probably the most widely used biometrics technique today, but it is not as secure as one might imagine. Studies () have shown that iris recognition is inherently less prone to both false or failed authentication. Face recognition biometrics that use existing smartphone cameras is also gaining momentum as part of a multi-factor authentication scheme.  Performance in real-world conditions continue to improve, but there is more to do. For example, the capability to differentiate between biometrics data from a ‘live’ person, as opposed to a hi-resolution image or video of the person, is important. Another issue is reliable performance in challenging light and shade conditions.

FotoNation, a leader in computational imaging solutions for mobile devices, has developed and is planning to release iris and face recognition biometrics solutions in Q4 of this year. These biometrics authentication solutions are highly optimized for mobile platforms, calibrated for both near infra-red (NIR) and visible light and designed to perform in a wide range of environmental conditions. FotoNation’s biometrics solutions will not only provide stronger, more secure and safer authentication, but they will also be configured for financial institutions to seamlessly adopt, personalize and integrate biometrics identity validation into their existing secure infrastructures.

FotoNation is planning to provide a SDK (Software Development Kit) and a RDK (Reference Design Kit) for financial instructions and OEMs to enable rapid trouble free adoption of FotoNation’s biometrics solutions. Demo and evaluation versions of these solutions are currently available.

Gartner, Market Guide for User Authentication, 2016, Frost & Sullivan , 2015 Global Outlook of the Biometrics Industry