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Gesture-Based Biometrics Technology Too Young For Financial Industry


While gesture-based technology has made huge waves in the world of video games, it has a long way to go before becoming the next generation user interface in other industries.

As reported by ZDNet yesterday, “The use of gesture-based technology as a form of security authentication for ATM (automated teller machines) transactions is unlikely to happen anytime soon given it is still in its infancy and its prohibitive costs would result in low industry support, state industry watchers.”

The technology relies on high-definition cameras and sensors to be embedded within existing ATMs in detecting hand and finger movements, which the banks will have to invest a lot of money towards, for use in their ATMs.

Another issue is discretion. When a consumer approaches an ATM, the actions have to be discreet, especially on keying their pin codes and selecting bank services such as deposit, withdrawal, etc., without other people viewing their actions. Gesture-based technology is not discreet and is, in fact, against the normal behavior in ATMs.

“Technology needs to help, not hinder, customer interactions,” said Heidi Shey, security and risk researcher at Forrester Research. “Unless there is a really compelling reason for banks to invest in [gesture technology], such as [making it a] regulatory requirement or a carefully calculated marketing and branding effort, [investing in this new technology] won’t be a priority.”

Another challenge lies in capturing the gestures of the ATM user, but not picking up other motions around the vicinity that might disrupt the authentication process.

Still, gesture-based technology can be an added feature of the more mature biometrics which includes fingerprinting, palm scanning, facial, voice, and iris recognitions. Shey noted, “even if gesture-based services were deployed, it would not take over the authentication process from more mature technologies such as biometrics.”

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