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Banks’ incomplete biometrics implementations mean extra work for customers, iProov report argues

Digital onboarding finally gets banks' attention; money is being budgeted -- survey

By making it difficult or even impossible for customers to complete some processes online, banks are missing out on revenue opportunities, according to the latest research from iProov. Banks are not using secure authentication with biometrics to its fullest potential in most cases, iProov argues, even when they have the technology in place for some processes.

According to iProov’s research, 30 percent of banks ask for applications to be completed from customers opening additional accounts, instead of streamlining the process with secure authentication, and only half of banks allow customers to change their PIN or order a new debit card online.

The report examines the range of online services offered by banks to existing users, and how usable they are.

Online Banking in the U.S.: How 20 of America’s Top Banks Are Balancing Security and User Experience For Digital Account Access’ is the second part in a series, following a report released in 2020 which showed most banks in the U.S. have yet to implement biometrics for processes that could enable remote account opening.

While accessing new services was easier with two-thirds of banks, iProov characterizes only 35 percent of these processes as simple for the customer. Secure biometric authentication would enable banks to support any process online with convenient facial authentication, the company says.

iProov’s own biometric technology provides just such security and convenience in authentication, according to iProov President Joe Palmer.

“Challenger banks and other disruptors in the banking sector have recognized that customers want reassuring simplicity,” says Palmer. “They know that customers value convenience and once they’ve experienced it, they won’t go back. With Genuine Presence Assurance, customers get the reassurance of visible authentication along with the effortlessness that they love.”

Three out of four banks require additional security steps to transfer funds to an external account, like confirming a debit card number or making a trial deposit, but 85 percent allow the customer’s primary email address to be changed online without more information than the username and password. Customers could even change their password simply by confirming their old one with 90 percent of banks, with one of the remaining 10 percent requiring no verification and another using a one-time password (OTP), suggesting that both convenience and security remain works in progress.

Even when biometrics are supported, the implementation does not necessarily provide the expected security in all situations, Palmer says.

“Face ID allows the customer to be recognized by the mobile device,” he explains. “The device then populates the password without the customer having to type it in. It’s convenient but it’s not the same as biometric authentication with the bank itself. If the device has been compromised by someone that shouldn’t have access, the bank will still make the transfer or process the request.”

Banks take action in India and Bahrain, Korean government dithers

The deadline for people in the field of financial crime to participate in the Digital ID Global Survey being conducted by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and ACAMS has been extended, as the industry continues to grapple with rapid digitization.

ICICI Bank has partnered with AuthBridge to implement digital KYC checks with ID document-capturing and selfie biometrics.

AuthBridge claims to be the largest authentication technology company in India.

“AuthBridge is pleased to partner with ICICI Bank on InstaFX, for a streamlined customer onboarding,” comments AuthBridge Chief Business Officer Pratyush Chandramadhur. “AuthBridge’s authentication technology allows automation of document collection, information extraction and real-time verification. With technologies like OCR, AI-powered face match, and seamlessly integrable API-based identity verifications, our KYC Solution is a perfect fit for ICICI Bank’s innovative and digital-first products, resulting in improved operational efficiency, smooth and compliant end to end workflows, thus facilitating faster services.”

The Central Bank of Bahrain has launched its national digital KYC service for financial institutions in the Kingdom.

The national eKYC platform is operated by Benefit and the Information and eGovernment Authority (IGA).

“It gives us great pleasure to continue developing the eKYC platform in an effort to drive digital transformation in the Kingdom’s various sectors,” states Benefit CEO Abdulwahid Janahi. “We have succeeded in enabling the integration of this digital platform into core banking systems and smart phone applications, and we are pleased to announce that Bahrain Islamic Bank has successfully integrated this platform into its core banking services system, while ‘ila’ Bank offers customer on-boarding in a completely digital and autonomous manner through its mobile app, both based on eKYC API integration. We look forward to the use of eKYC services on a larger scale during the coming period.”

Meanwhile in Korea, the country’s foreign residents are being left out of banking sector digitization, The Korea Times reports, and are still forced to visit a branch in-person to open accounts.

A rule revision by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) in 2019 could pave the way for foreigners to use their alien registration cards as a credential for online account opening, but the next steps are yet to be taken, and government ministries have not agreed how to verify foreign residents’ identities remotely. A bank official told the Times that allowing passports to be used would solve the problem.

Loan applications from foreign residents are increasing, and would surely continue to do so if they could use the mechanisms for KYC already available to Korean citizens.

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