Last month I spoke at Biometric Summit London 2019 about the perks of biometrics – independent of who you are, where you are and what you do. I was particularly interested to hear so many speakers and delegates talk genuinely about getting customer experience right – without losing security or convenience. It’s apparent that that great customer experience isn’t just a ‘nice to have’ but a basic requirement that service providers must deliver if they are to be successful in the modern and increasingly digital, world. Real customer needs have to be met using technology to enhance living and solve today’s life problems.
Problem solving through the use of technology can be powerful – both for organisations and their customers. For example, many membership organisations will provide paying members with a membership card in order to access their facilities. Take for instance, a gym where access is granted through the use of a card. While the paying member uses it themselves correctly, they might also lend it to a friend or family member who uses the facilities without paying. This isn’t good or fair for the organisation or its members who are using the facilities correctly. Using a biometric identity solution such as the product we have developed – Precise YOUNiQ – means that access is convenient, quick and secure, every time. Onboarding is done digitally by the individual who just needs to take a selfie, then when they arrive at the facility, the entrance camera will live video stream them approaching. As the system recognizes and verifies the individual with their stored selfie, the door opens automatically with no need to stand and wait for facial recognition to take place. There are no physical cards or other tokens to remember, lose or be stolen.
The same applies to digital services where biometrics can help to comply with regulation in industries such as banking, betting and gaming. Removing the need to present yourself physically (e.g. at a branch) to identify yourself when setting up a new account, making log-on easy and eliminating passwords and PINs meets the top challenges and demands that organisations are facing such as:
- Increasing digital services
- Protection of digital identity
- Replacement of inconvenient and insecure authentication solutions
- Sustainable options
- Ownership and control of personal data
Of course, modern life isn’t just about living digitally. We do have a physical life too! We work with colleagues, enjoy time with family and socialise with friends. Here too, biometrics has an important role in making everyday activities, such as paying for a coffee, even easier and secure. Biometric payment cards are set to enhance a technology that many of us are already used to with contactless payment cards – only now the limit for these cards won’t need to be capped at $30 nor will you need to enter a PIN-code for extra security when making purchases. Biometric technology enables a much higher level of security and convenience while reducing fraud. Everyone wins! This year has been a year of pilots and we expect to see more activity in this space from 2020 as biometric payment cards begin to be deployed by banks and actively used by consumers.
In summary, convenience and security are now of equal importance. Digital Identity will need to be owned and controlled by individuals themselves. Biometric technology therefore has an important opportunity to enable this through robust solutions and innovative approaches that keep this requirement at the heart of technology design. This is particularly important when thinking about how to meet regulation and legal frameworks for the use of biometric technology in commercial applications. I see this as an opportunity for the wider industry since we experts can drive best practice and deliver great results that work for everyone – except the fraudsters of course…which is exactly as it should be!
As this is my last blog for 2019, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a happy holiday and my best wishes for 2020! I’m looking forward to continuing our conversations in the new year.