Mobile Banking Commitment Welcomed by Aspect

Banks commitment to better mobile banking experiences welcomed by Aspect Software – Roll-out of biometrics-based security shows firms are listening to the customer

mobile.banking.image.jan.2016This week at Mobile World Congress 2016, MasterCard announced that it would enable customers to use their mobile devices’ camera to capture their likeness in order to authenticate their identity when making online payments. The ‘Selfie ID’ security method follows Barclays, NatWest, and more recently HSBC, which have introduced voice and/or fingerprint biometrics for payment authentication via telephone banking and mobile devices.

Some of the schemes are only in the pilot phase and available for corporate or customers under beta testing conditions. However, Keiron Dalton, a mobile security expert, suggests that it shows a move towards serious investment in the user experience:

aspect.kieron.dalton.image.2014“The trend here is driven by several external and internal factors but I think it’s important to focus on the end game. Banks are listening to the customer and how they want to do business. It’s completely about enhancing the user experience so that the customer puts in the least amount of effort for a fast, secure and easy customer experience.”

Dalton, who is Senior Director of Customer Strategy and Innovation at contact centre technology provider, Aspect Software, continued:

“Yes, the Payment Services Directive now compels anyone processing online payments to ensure that two autonomous methods of authentication are used, but regulation only asks for the bare minimum and does not consider the business objectives behind letting customers pay online or by mobile. No user wants to go through the rigmarole of remembering a combination of passcodes, PINs, and hard tokens if it is disruptive to the experience. After all, mobile banking is supposed to be easier and fitting with current connected lifestyles.”

“Introducing methods that are based on biometrics is inherently more secure than more traditional security processes in isolation, because no two people hold the same biometric data. Once set up for the individual, voice biometrics can be invisible to the user if they are on the phone with a self-service contact centre line anyway, therefore there is no disruption to the process yet the customer is authenticated once combined with second or third methods of identity verification. Similarly, fingerprint technology on mobile devices means users can be authenticated with just a tap. The Selfie ID gives off a very important message, in that banks understand that using a mobile camera is part of daily life for many people.”

He concluded: “Many providers are re-thinking their current online and mobile security models and not just because it is the law, but because the voice of the customer is finally being heard. We want a balance between the experience and ensuring our private data is adequately protected, and it seems we’re finally getting there.”

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1 Comment on "Mobile Banking Commitment Welcomed by Aspect"

  1. It sounds very interesting. But it is now known that the authentication by biometrics usually comes with poorer security than PIN/password-only authentication.

    Whether face, iris, fingerprint, typing, gesture, heartbeat or brainwave, biometric authentication could be a candidate for displacing the password if/when (only if/when) it has stopped depending on a password to be registered in case of false rejection while keeping the near-zero false acceptance.

    Threats that can be thwarted by biometric products operated together with fallback/backup passwords can be thwarted more securely by password-only authentication We could be certain that biometrics would help for better security only when it is operated together with another factor by AND/Conjunction (we need to go through both of the two), not when operated with another factor by OR/Disjunction (we need only to go through either one of the two) as in the cases of Touch ID and many other biometric products on the market that require a backup/fallback password, which only increase the convenience by bringing down the security.

    In short, biometric solutions could be recommended to the people who want convenience but should not be recommended to those who need security. It may be interesting to have a quick look at a slide titled “Blind Spot in Our Mind & Eye-opening Experience” shown at

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