Biometrics to become box-office in year ahead

Taking stock of the identity verification landscape, Keith McGill, Head of Fraud & ID at Equifax, expects rapid adoption of biometrics in 2020 as it enters the mainstream:

“The biometrics industry has been at a crossroads, with verification technology solutions until now viewed as a roadmap item for many businesses, but as it enters the mainstream we expect adoption rates to accelerate.

“Research by Cifas* last year pointed to a rise in ID fraud, and this trend is still on the up. In the current escalating threat environment it’s increasingly easy for fraudsters to operate and fly below the radar, and this is where technology has a constructive role to play.

“As the strongest form of authentication, the benefits of biometric solutions are two-fold, stemming the tide of third-party fraud losses and offering a sleeker customer experience. Brits are increasingly on board, with nearly three quarters happy to do away with pins and passwords to access their mobile phones in favour of a biometric solution**. The challenge for businesses is crafting optimal deployment routes to harness this potential.

“Biometrics also have a central role to play in the multi-factor Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) requirements coming into force in 2021, which add an extra layer of security to payment processes, such as a fingerprint verifier. The hurdle for most retailers is finding ways to offset the additional friction and avoid ‘abandoned’ online shopping baskets. The market is finding solutions and it’s vital that merchants achieve alignment in time for a swift transition to these more robust requirements.

“With the risk landscape more pronounced than ever, there’s no doubt that businesses must take increasing precautions to protect consumers, so expect biometrics to have a more hands-on role in the fight against identity theft.”