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By Sanjay Gupta, SVP and MD, Mitek

People are depending on their banks more than ever in this tough economic time. Rising levels of fraud and scams along with the uncertainty of new identity and verification (IDV) technology is increasing suspicion amongst consumers. There is also a reliance on traditional, risky digital access methods like passwords, as well as a lack of education on the benefits of a more secure technology like biometrics.

Interestingly, consumers are more than happy to embrace the convenience and security of tech in most spheres of life, as evidenced by the video doorbell and wireless home security camera markets soaring. But when it comes to something as sensitive as our finances, the trust gap becomes evident.

A recent survey from YouGov and Mitek found that 79% of customers want banks to adopt the latest technology to keep their accounts safe, yet only 35% of mobile banking app users have set up face biometrics to log in. This technology is proven to be the most secure option for login and banks should begin to promote its ease of use, as well as prove the security of biometrics to their customers. Should the tech trust gap continue to widen, the industry runs the risk of facing a market-driven stalemate in their research and development.

So, how can banks win customer trust in new IDV technologies?

Recognise gaps in knowledge

To start, we need to help customers understand that passwords and basic multifactor authentication (MFA) are no longer enough to protect them from fraudsters. MFA attacks are at their highest level ever, with 113 million in the first 90 days of 2022 alone. Cybercrime groups are deceiving targeted users to generate codes and approve access requests, often bombarding users with repeated requests until they give in.

Customers can be reluctant to add steps to their login process and question why their passwords are not sufficient to protect them from scammers. What they might not understand is a password is merely just one mode of authentication. Passwords do not authenticate identity, they just provide access to an account.

The best way to make an account more secure is a multi-modal approach of biometrics and passwords which allows a person to prove – both – who they are and what they know.

Biometric authentication offers high security and assurance, as well as a convenient and fast user experience, simply scanning a customer’s face for entry without the need to remember codes or passwords. Every person has a unique set of biometrics that are very hard to fake or steal and act as an added layer of security between them and someone trying to break into their device or app.

Be aware of the customer trust gap

Despite the clear benefits of IDV technology, many customers remain wary of it. According to the Mitek and YouGov research, this trust gap is evident among all ages, though it is particularly prevalent in older generations; 80% of those over 55 don’t have biometrics set up, just relying on vulnerable passwords. This suggests a lack of education in cyber hygiene and awareness of the benefits of biometrics in securing bank accounts – which needs to change.

To bridge the trust gap, customers must be aware of the technology used for identity verification and be able to understand how it works. Customers are familiar with traditional identity verification processes, which would require paper documents, and standing in long queues to meet at banks face-to-face. But now, to ensure compliance without losing customers along the way, banks turn to biometrics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

Digital identity verification technologies can complete this process in minutes on a mobile device, as new customers take a selfie and a photo of their ID document. The ID document is then checked by AI for signs of forgery, ‘matched’ against the selfie, and ‘liveness detection’ ensures that the selfie is being taken there and then. What’s more, thanks to ML, the technology learns to recognise more signs of forgery over time to further improve security.

Closing the trust gap

Making login processes simpler for people does not mean that it will open the floodgates for cybercriminals to attack. It can be challenging to get consumers to make the move from ‘something you know’ to ‘something you are’, so banks must make the process of setting up biometric security easy and stress-free to encourage uptake. More investment is also required to give people confidence and educate them about the benefits of these cutting-edge technologies without putting them off.

Ultimately, finding the ideal balance between security, education, and a seamless customer experience is the key to closing the tech trust gap.

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