BoA partners Samsung to use face and iris recognition in banking services
The financial information website PYMNTS.com has reported that, to strengthen security, the Bank of America (BoA) is engaged in research and development into ”next-generation biometric systems” including face recognition software and technology.
Bank of America was an early adopter, in 2015, of account access via finger print recognition and “Touch ID”, and it is not surprising that it aims to respond promptly to the demand of consumers who are constantly on the move and has shown interest in face and iris recognition systems via a tie-up with Samsung.
Development of services that consumers really want will be key
With Face ID technology, individuals are identified from characteristic points, such as eyes, nose, and mouth, picked out from still or moving images. The Bank of America is apparently using this technology to develop new security systems, because it strikes the right balance between consumers’ convenience and security.
It is now clear that conventional security systems that are typically dependent on passwords or PINs no longer meet the demands of the market in terms of convenience or security. Numerous surveys also confirm that consumer behaviour is swayed significantly by dissatisfaction with the service provided.
The advent of finger-print recognition overturned conventional types of security, and consumers now demand services that are more secure and convenient. Bank of America is developing a next-generation biometric system to respond to such constant demand from consumers.
Hari Gopalkrishnan, managing director of consumer-facing platforms and technology for Bank of America, has stated that key to success in the development of new products and services is picking up on what consumers are really seeking.
Will the problems with face recognition be resolved?
In concrete terms, the Bank of America is developing systems such as iris recognition systems that can be used by clients to access their bank accounts, in a tie-up with Samsung that is engaged in research into biometric systems for use in its own smart phones.
According to Gopalkrishnan, innovation in the digital identification market is progressing at a tremendous pace, and it is essential to put a framework in place that allows a timely response.
The most useful aspect of face recognition technology is probably that there is no need for the device to have a separate identification sensor. Identification is possible with the inbuilt camera of the smartphone, PC or tablet. Unlike iris recognition systems, it is not necessary fix your gaze at a specific point of the camera for a certain length of time; instead, there is automatic recognition as soon as the client looks at the screen. Nothing could be more convenient.
However, there is concern that fraudulent identification using a photograph might be possible, and so research into 3-D identification methods is currently ongoing.
By its very nature, biometrics cannot be said to be 100% safe, and there is a lot of scope for improvement. The value of significant improvements in convenience would be much reduced if they are not accompanied by security. Meanwhile, there is also discussion of the likelihood of it being practically impossible to develop an identification method that is completely secure.
In Japan, the Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group is currently conducting trials in the company’s canteen of a system that utilises NEC’s face recognition technology NeoFace (from Internet Watch).
It will be interesting to see the extent to which the Bank of America, with Samsung, can resolve the outstanding issues.