Furthering the security discussion when it comes to authenticating identity, especially in the online world, biometrics have emerged as the latest measure for protecting and safeguarding privacy. Keeping sensitive information about someone, including passwords and valuable data like credit card numbers private is of the utmost importance to card issuers, banks, and consumers alike.

According to Penny Crosman at American Banker, biometrics have all been limited engagements so far — they give customers more options and have the potential to boost security, but those are only incremental moves; the wholesale shift to biometrics has been slow to say the least. However, the future of authentication through biometrics is here and big strides were made throughout the year. Check out what 2016 brought us in the world of biometrics:

January: Republic Bank launches two login options: eye vein scanning and fingerprint recognition.

February: HSBC banking group deploys voice recognition for U.K. customers.

March: BMO Financial Group and MasterCard start program in Canada and U.S. that lets corporate cardholders verify online transactions using facial recognition and fingerprint.

April: Tangerine Bank launches app that lets users log in using voice or iris recognition.

May: U.S. Bank adopts fingerprint recognition. Citi deploys voice biometrics for Asia-Pacific consumer banking customers.

August: Barclay rolls out voice biometrics in call centers.

November: Bank Leumi rolls out behavioral biometrics for card app users. TD Bank deploys voice recognition.

Of course, there are and there will be some challenges as American Banker points out. Among them is the simple fact that more devices will have to be compatible with the corresponding technology. Additionally, logging in to accounts must be easy and free of unnecessary glitches or hang ups. Lastly, Banks and other financial institutions will need to offer multiple options to overcome the weaknesses of each method (i.e., voice recognition in noisy environments, facial or eye vein recognition in low-light conditions, or fingerprint recognition in cold or wet environments).

What will it take for biometric authentication to become routine and common, and eventually take the place of insecure or easily guessed or stolen passwords or credit card numbers? Stay tuned to find out!


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