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The benefits of biometric authentication

Biometric authentication takes many forms, including voice biometrics, behavioral biometrics, and facial recognition technology. The broad and thorough process creates significant security advantages for businesses and customers.

June 30th, 2022

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Biometric authentication is a process that verifies an individual based on their unique biological characteristics, such as their fingerprints or the shape of their face. The process of authenticating people in this way is incredibly useful. This is because it helps businesses verify customers with a high degree of accuracy and ensures that whoever is attempting to access their service is exactly who they’re claiming to be. 

Although biometric authentication processes sound complicated, they’re actually relatively straightforward. Generally speaking, a database stores authentic data, and this data is then compared with a user’s physical traits. Due to this, biometric authentication is a popular way for businesses to verify remote employees, deal with high-risk customers, and help users access services or reset their credentials.

But, what are the advantages of biometric security systems? To answer this question, let’s take a detailed look at the most popular forms of biometric identification, including voice biometrics, behavioral biometrics, facial recognition technology, and fingerprint biometrics. To conclude, we’ll take a detailed look at the benefits of biometric authentication for security purposes.

Voice biometrics

Voice biometrics is an incredibly common form of biometric authentication. It works because everyone says certain words and phrases distinctly. After all, more than 70 body parts contribute to how a person speaks. This makes everyone’s voice unique.

For voice recognition software to work effectively and accurately, it creates an initial voice template. This often involves merging several samples of a person’s speech.

Then, to verify an enrolled person’s identity, a voice biometric system will capture a new speech sample, create a template from the sample, and compare it against the initial template. If there’s a strong match between the two templates, this indicates that the same person spoke in both samples.

In the past few years, voice biometrics has become increasingly popular in a number of businesses, such as call centers and financial services providers.  

Benefits of voice biometrics

The benefits provided by voice biometrics are numerous. For example, compared to passwords and secret answers, voice biometrics enhances the customer experience. This is because authentication is fast and frictionless. Due to this, the staff members of a business can also save time. This is because they don’t need to manually verify users or reset forgotten passwords. This can also lead to cost savings.

Similarly, passwords can be compromised or caught up in phishing scams. As voice records cannot, security is improved and the likelihood of breaches is also minimized.

Finally, voice biometrics systems can also enhance the user experience and increase the accuracy of authentications when compared with passwords and secret answers.

Behavioral biometrics

Behavioral biometrics analyzes a user’s behavior to distinguish between cybercriminal activity and legitimate customers.

Behavioral biometrics involves studying measurable patterns in human activity. In this regard, behavioral biometrics is different from the other forms of biometrics we’ve listed here because it focuses on activities rather than a physical human characteristic, such as a fingerprint.

To be effective, behavioral biometrics involves the study of a number of data points, including:

  • How a user holds their phone
  • Swiping and scrolling patterns
  • Keystroke rhythm
  • A person’s gait, or how they walk

During the authentication process, biometric data is typically gathered and encrypted, so it can be used for verification purposes. After the data has been gathered, a software application picks out specific points of data as match points. These match points are then processed using an algorithm that translates that information into a numeric value. The database value is compared with the biometric input the end user has entered and authentication is either approved or denied.

Behavioral biometrics is used in a number of industries. However, it’s particularly popular in financial institutions and government facilities.

Benefits of behavioral biometrics

One of the key benefits of behavioral biometrics is that the process works passively in the background. Due to this, it minimizes friction in the user experience.

Similarly, behavioral biometrics allows financial institutions to verify a customer’s identity on a continuous basis, regardless of their device, location, or entered data.

Plus, behavioral analysis can detect deviations from the user’s typical behavior by comparing actions against historical data. Due to this, behavioral biometrics is particularly useful for spotting application fraud, new account fraud, and account takeover fraud.

Facial recognition software

Another widespread form of biometric authentication is facial recognition software, such as our Face Match solution. Pieces of technology such as this measure the geometry of a face using multiple data points, such as the distance between the eyes, or the distance from the chin to the forehead.

After using biometrics to map facial features from a photograph or a video, facial recognition systems compare this information with a database of known faces to find a match.

Once considered incredibly complex, facial recognition is now used in most aspects of everyday life. For example, if you own a smartphone, it’s likely that you use facial recognition software multiple times a day to unlock it or make a purchase using it. Similarly, facial recognition software is used by companies like Facebook to suggest people you may know to tag in your post.

We think our Face Match solution is particularly useful, and there are three key ways that it can be used:

  • Resetting credentials
  • Remote employee verification
  • Monitoring high-risk customers

Benefits of facial recognition software

Facial recognition software is incredibly popular with businesses and customers alike. This is because the software can be used to strengthen security measures, make access to services more efficient, and reduce the number of touchpoints in the customer journey. In many cases, no physical interaction is required at all. Instead, artificial intelligence is used to make the process automatic and seamless.

Although facial recognition software is incredibly useful in a business setting, the technology is also used by police and law enforcement agencies, where it provides additional benefits. In this context, the technology is used to help locate missing people and identify criminals.

Fingerprint biometrics

Fingerprint biometrics is the most popular and most developed biometric authentication solution in the world. 

Fingerprint biometric systems analyze the locations of ‘minutiae’. These are the endings and bifurcations of the friction ridges on the pad of your finger. Once a person’s fingerprint has been scanned and analyzed, it can be saved as a template and compared to any other fingerprint in the system.

Fingerprint analysis has been used in forensics labs since the 1800s. However, today the process is far more complex. It now usually involves optical, capacitive, ultrasound, and thermal scanners. But, contactless fingerprint scanners are also available.

Today, fingerprint scanners are used in all walks of life, including in smartphones, civil registries, and national ID systems.

Benefits of fingerprint biometrics

The main benefit provided by fingerprint ID is security. A person’s fingerprint cannot be cloned and the information is never exposed to criminals. Plus, as one of the most advanced forms of biometric authentication in the world, fingerprint analysis is almost 100% accurate.

On top of this, fingerprints are a popular authentication solution because they provide faster access. While typing in a password takes time, a fingerprint can be provided and analyzed in less than a second.

Finally, fingerprints also provide greater convenience. Not only is there no chance of a customer forgetting their fingerprint, but there’s also no need for them to remember a lengthy or complex password. So, not only do fingerprint scanners save time and provide greater security, they also increase convenience.

Benefits of biometrics for security

As we’ve seen already, there are many benefits of biometric authentication. Looking at security particularly, it’s clear that biometric data is much harder for fraudsters to steal and use. Due to this, when it comes to resetting customer credentials, verifying remote employee details, or granting access to confidential information, biometric authentication is far more efficient and secure than a password or a security question.  

From a security perspective, biometric information is also incredibly useful because it’s highly accurate. As human error is removed from the equation entirely, most forms of biometric authentication are almost 100% accurate. This means you can have faith in your security systems and verifications. 

Similarly, not only are biometric details more secure, but they can also help businesses save time and money. This is because, when passwords are lost, stolen, or forgotten, team members need to reset them. By comparison, individuals never need to remember any of the corresponding information they need for biometric ID, so they can gain access to their account in seconds. This also makes it much easier for customers to use applications with biometric authentication systems, and the user experience can be enhanced as a result.

Book a consultation with Veriff

Here at Veriff, we build solutions that help to build trust online. For this reason, we created Face Match, an AI-powered reverification tool that utilizes some of the best parts of our existing identity verification technology

With the help of our technology, you can experience a number of the advantages of the biometric security systems we mentioned above. This is because the solution allows you to re-verify users in around 1 second, with 99.9% accuracy.

If you’d like to experience the advantages of biometric security systems for yourself or learn more about the benefits of biometric authentication, then get in touch with our experts today. We’d love to help you keep customers safe, build trust, and fight identity fraud.

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