By Steve Cook, Specialist Biometrics and Fintech Consultant, Biometrics for eCommerce
What, for you, are the benefits of attending a conference like the ‘X-Tech Europe’?
Essentially to keep pace with the latest digital and technology trend across the many different verticals; from financial services to IOT systems.
Can you please provide an overview of biometrics and how eCommerce in particular can benefit?
With the revised Payment Services Directive known as PSD2, strong customer authentication (SCA) is a key piece of the regulations which comes into effect on the 14th September 2019. This is crucial to all ecommerce operators and payment services providers. Biometrics (something you are) within a two-factor authentication process under SCA will play a major role in the authorisation and verification of payments, especially with regard to card not present transactions. However, the benefits are that as consumers get used to the idea that a selfie is just as reliable as password or PIN code, the trust in these new methods will gain acceptance over time.
How can biometrics be used to increase customer experience?
The technical world is moving at a rapid pace and new biometric trends in replacing the dependency for passwords and PINs will drive a new customer experience all together. While passwords will still be with us for some times, there is a growing desire to move away from passwords which can be hacked or stolen. A number of high profile data breaches have shown us that in order to protect our credentials and our private data, better security methods are needed.
Looking ahead, how do you foresee biometrics changing the customer experience landscape?
The overriding factor for using biometric methods today, whether this is facial recognition, voice recognition, fingerprints, iris or even vein and palm modalities, is the convenience of not having to remember complicated or complex passwords, or even having to re-set passwords. You are the password. However, biometrics needs to ensure that they can be trusted and are robust, and furthermore they cannot be spoofed.
What are the key challenges associated with implementing biometrics in payment authentication?
There are many challenges facing the implementation of biometrics in payments, not least the issues of compliance and the standardisation of so many different solutions available on the market today. However, a key aspect is how robust are they? It has long been known that biometrics has been subject to spoofing or presentation attacks, where AI or even Deep Fake can replicate an attack by a bad actor. True robust liveness detection has become a vital piece of the jigsaw to combat these kinds of threats. Criminals are exploiting these weaknesses in biometric systems. AI can fool most so called liveness checks such as smiling, blinking and head nodding, and bypass nearly all remote digital on-boarding processes. Therefore PAD (presentation attack detection) testing has become essential for any procurement process or vendor selection, and all biometrics vendors need to have certified proof that their systems cannot be broken. The biometrics industry is now addressing these issues and making sure that the security is just as important as the convenience in the user experience.