Facial recognition – the future of online banking logins?

The growth of online banking has had a transformative impact on how people manage their financial affairs on a day-to-day basis, ushering in a new era of speed and convenience for consumers.

There are many aspects of online banking that are highly valued by customers, but one part of the process that many people could do without is having to remember passwords and personal ID numbers.

As well as being an inconvenience for the individual, these login methods can represent a security risk if they are compromised.

One potential solution to this problem is biometric authentication, a concept we can expect to become increasingly common across all sectors of the financial services industry – from payments to ATMs – over the coming years.

In the online banking space, biometric technology looks set to receive a boost in profile thanks to a collaboration between Lloyds Banking Group and Microsoft.

People in the UK using Windows 10 devices to log in to their Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland accounts will have the option to confirm their identity with their fingerprint or by facial recognition, rather than entering passwords or ID numbers.

Based on the Windows Hello authentication system, the technology will create a data representation of a face, rather than an image, to prevent impersonators from logging in with a photograph.

A pilot will take place in the second half of the year to gauge how customers would take to this new method of user identification.

Gill Wylie, chief operating officer for group digital and transformation at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “With customer experience and security at the forefront of our minds, we are keen to run this pilot to explore the new functionality Windows Hello could give our customers.

“I am delighted we are the first banking organisation in the UK to work with Microsoft on Windows Hello, and excited to see how our customers use this feature.”

NatWest and Atom Bank are among the other providers in the UK that have been using biometrics to improve security and convenience for online banking customers.

Image: iStock/artoleshko

Written by Jack Dougal

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