Identity verification systems that use biometric technology have the ability to accurately identify individuals with the help of their unique biological features. This includes an exhaustive analysis of physical characteristics, such as facial features, fingerprint patterns, iris, and retina structures, the pitch of the voice, etc. Once these features have been extracted, they are cross-matched against the existing biometric databases.
Due to an increasing interest in online platforms and digitization, biometric identity verification systems are gaining prominence in companies worldwide. Apart from safeguarding the customer’s data and the business’s online database, identity verification is mandatory for KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-money Laundering) compliance. As biometric verification solutions tick both of these boxes, they are used to fill the gaps found in a company’s security program.
COVID-19 and Customer ID Verification
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic made the world more contactless. Because of the deadly consequences of this virus, global authorities such as the World Health Organization (WHO) made social distancing and healthy habits mandatory for the masses. Because of this, numerous businesses shifted towards online platforms. Similar to how ID verification was necessary prior to processes such as bank account opening or at airports for security checks, the same is required in the virtual world. With the help of robust biometric verification, customers can now be identified through a simple scan of their eyes or facial features.
Biometric Identification is Replacing Traditional Verification Systems
Traditional methods of customer verification involved the use of paper-based documents. The process involved verifying the customer’s identity based on their official ID documents, such as a government-issued ID card, a driver’s license, or a recent utility bill. However, this process became insufficient and inapplicable as the world shifted online.
For businesses that aim to create a strong online presence, biometric security systems are the way forward. The strength of biometric solutions lies in their ability to safeguard a company against cyber threats, which can prove to be disastrous for the financial well being of any company. Where the traditional methods were prone to human error and had numerous vulnerabilities, biometric services are highly accurate, fully automated, and fraud-free.
Based on a study conducted by Spiceworks, approximately 60% of organizations in the U.S. were using biometric verification solutions in 2018. In the forthcoming years, approximately 90% of organizations are forecasted to incorporate biometric technology in their identity verification systems.
Where Biometric Verification is Commonly Used
Door Locks and Sign-ins
Numerous organizations have armed their online servers, customer databases, and even websites with biometric verification. Some companies have long been using face biometrics to secure office entry and exits.
Banks, insurance companies, brokerage firms, fintechs, and stock exchanges are a few examples of organizations that use biometric verification to secure their day-to-day business operations. In this process, the customer has to be verified prior to performing high-value transactions, online purchases, paying utility bills, or online transfers.
To ensure the safety of public places, such as parks, cinemas, shopping malls, libraries, restaurants, etc, biometric verification is commonly used by authorities. For example, subway stations in the UAE are armed with CCTV cameras that use facial recognition to identify and track known criminals and law offenders. Other than this, the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo are also set to use biometric verification for the protection of the public.
The airline industry is another industry that has been reaping the benefits of biometric verification technology. Examples of areas where biometric authentication is used includes:
- Security checkpoints at airport entrances
- During visa and passport checks
- During online ticket payments
The healthcare sector was hit the hardest due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As telemedicine and online medical consultations became widely accepted by consumers, they paved the way for various criminal threats. To combat financial crimes such as medical identity thefts, false insurance claims, and data breaches, patient identification through biometric technology is being increasingly adopted.
E-learning platforms and distant learning are one other trend that has been brought forth by the pandemic. With schools now using online platforms to deliver lectures, the identification of students has become a necessity. Today, biometric technology is commonly used for streamlining instructor and student attendance, the time they spend learning, and monitoring students during quizzes and exams.