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Nearly 3 in 4 bank customers comfortable with biometric authentication: Entrust survey

Nearly 3 in 4 bank customers comfortable with biometric authentication: Entrust survey

Biometrics are rising in the banking sector: While a New Zealand bank is introducing behavioral biometrics to stop fraud, Indian authorities are mulling introducing facial recognition to ATMs to prevent thieves. Australia’s banks are building transaction infrastructure for digital IDs, while an Entrust survey shows customers globally are embracing biometric authentication.

A new survey by digital identity company Entrust showed that 72 percent of respondents were comfortable with their bank’s use of facial recognition, selfies or fingerprints. Given the option to choose between biometrics and passwords, 58 percent survey respondents said that they would choose biometrics more than half the time.

Physical cards, however, are not going away anytime soon: Nearly 90 percent of respondents said they still prefer using them. This means that banks are looking at a hybrid future in which both physical and digital payment options should be available, says Jenn Markey, Entrust’s Vice President of Payments and Identity.

The survey, conducted by Entrust Cybersecurity Institute, drew insights from 1,000 consumers in the United States, France, Chile, and Singapore. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents also said they are comfortable with banks using AI to detect fraud, while almost half of the survey takers said they abandoned a new bank account application because it didn’t feel secure or was too cumbersome.

Biocatch lands first NZ bank customer

Behavioral biometrics firm Biocatch will provide its software to one of New Zealand’s largest banks, Westpac. The product will help the bank’s fraud monitoring systems protect customers from falling victim to scams.

The Israel-based anti-fraud software analyzes customers’ online behavior to help detect unusual activities that may indicate an account has been compromised.

“We turned on Biocatch in early September and it’s currently collecting behavioral data to help it learn how each individual customer behaves online. We hope to have it fully operational by the end of the month,” says Westpac New Zealand Chief Executive Catherine McGrath. The data is fully anonymized, she added.

In September, BioCatch introduced a new product to battle money mules, people who launder money around for criminals, claiming it can identify 98 percent of active mule accounts.

Odisha mulls facial recognition ATMs

An eastern Indian state is considering introducing facial recognition on ATMs to prevent illegal activities.

The High Court of the state of Odisha (formerly Orissa) has directed state authorities to discuss the proposition with banks, particularly the Reserve Bank.

The court issued the direction after hearing an alleged kidnapping case involving a minor girl. The girl’s mother had her ATM card used by an unknown man but police were unable to identify the person from CCTV footage as he was covering his face, Indian law news website LiveLaw reports.

A more common use of facial recognition-enabled ATMs, however, is skimming, an illegal practice used by identity thieves to capture bank card information. The Odisha court noted that introducing biometric surveillance would help prevent such crimes.

Indian banks have been introducing biometric surveillance in other areas. In October, police in financial and technology hub Gurgaon advised banks and ATM operators to install facial recognition surveillance to catch criminals, especially during busy holiday seasons, The Times of India reported.

Australian warns banks against overcharging

As Australia inches closer to launching a national digital identity, banks are working on building up the infrastructure for digital ID-based transactions. According to Government Services Minister Bill Shorten, however, banks may not be allowed to profit from these transactions, The Mandarin reports.

“I think generally banks are overcharging. Let’s be honest. Good on Westpac if you’re a shareholder — they made a $7.6 billion profit. But this is the time of inflation and mortgage rises,” Shorten said.

The minister also indicated that taxpayer-funded digital IDs could be a solution to stopping the private sector from hoovering up consumer data. Government-built myGovID, for instance, could be presented to real estate agents, insurance companies, hotels and rent-a-cars, he said.

The federally-backed digital ID system still has a long way until its launch. Australian banks have been looking towards alternative solutions: After the National Bank of Australia (NAB), the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) joined ConnectID, an alternative to government digital ID schemes geared towards consumers.

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