USAA reports biometric success
17 March 2017 15:29 GMT

San Antonio-based credit union USAA is reporting that biometric authentication has seen remarkable take-up since it was introduced to its mobile banking services.

Speaking to the San Antonio Business Journal, senior staff revealed that out of 5 million mobile app users, 2 million are now using fingerprint, facial or voice recognition to sign in to accounts using smart devices.

“We spent a lot of time thinking about possible solutions," Richard Davey, lead security advisor at USAA, said. "Where we ended up was the combination of the Pin & In capability supported by the strong multi-factor identification. These embedded tokens allows us to verify that mobile application is the same one running on the same device that the member had previously registered.”

The multi-modal biometric solution was developed in tandem with Daon, a Washington D.C. startup that was founded in Ireland.

“Doan is still the provider for the biometrics capabilities but USAA always keeps its options open when it comes to technology. We do our own valuations to decide what makes the best balance between the appropriate technologies to compliment our infrastructure and the kind of service and security that we would feel comfortable putting in front of the USAA membership," Davey said.

When the biometric function was first rolled out, more than 100,000 USAA members began using it immediately and an average of 2,000 users per day were adding the function. That is significant traction for USAA's members, according to Daon.

"Adding the biometrics was really the result of the evolution of the technology and the availability of the fingerprint readers in an increasing number of mobile devices," he said.