EAB reveals interest in banking seminars
08 December 2015 14:03 GMT

The European Association for Biometrics (EAB) has revealed that some 45 banks took part in banking related seminars it has organised over the past three months.

The seminars took place in three main European financial capitals: Frankfurt, London and Amsterdam.

“From the seminars it can be concluded that biometric technologies are on their way of becoming an integral part of various identification and authentication processes within the financial services industry. An emphasis was seen on user convenience, while adding confidence about the identity of the user. “

The EAB noted that in most cases biometrics is not presented as an identifier, but rather as a convenient tool to add the physical person to the chain of authentication tools in an environment that otherwise is fully digital.

“Illustrated by various case studies and demonstrations the happy marriage between biometrics and smart devices (such as mobile phones and cards) is triggering a variety of innovative and user friendly client experiences.”

“The high level of interest of banks and other financial institutions can be explained by the important role that biometrics is starting to play in remote authentication as a 2nd or 3rd factor. Depending on the kind of application biometrics such as behavior, voice and face are capable of performing continuous authentication without the user to perform extra efforts.

The EAB noted that new fingerprint-on-card technologies enable smooth chipcard activation and therefore deliver an improved user experience. This new role of biometrics of providing convenient authentication is combined with a higher level of assurance regarding the physical identity of the person.

However, the group added that from a regulative point of view the use of biometrics for authentication is not a done deal in Europe.

“Expert presentations about the new European Payments Services Directive (also PSD2) and about certain guidelines from the European Banking Authority (EBA) learned that further elaboration on the regulative part as well as the solutions part is needed in order to bring these two in sync with each other. Also regarding the data protection and privacy aspects of biometric identification and authentication solutions more clarity is desired. This is especially needed in the light of the revised European Data Protection Regulation, which considers biometrics as a technology that imposes specific risks.