Biometrics may lead to more secure banking

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects

Voice verification is how Erich Dye signs into his mobile banking app from USAA Bank. And facial recognition is how his wife Donna logs on.

"It's my face, no one has my face. I like the fact that you have these extra steps and it keeps my account more secure," she said.

The Dye's are using cutting edge mobile banking security: they don't type a complicated password into a little hand held keypad. They rely on biometrics.  

Biometrics expert Todd Mozer with Sensory Inc. explains what biometrics means.

"There's the bio component, that's biology and metrics, that's the measurement, so its using the measurement of our unique characteristics to distinguish one person from another," he said.

Between voice activation, facial recognition and fingerprint verification, experts say biometric banking is booming.

"I think they are the big thing that's going on right now and the future," Mozer added.

It's not only mobile banking. Eastern Bank is now using "voice verification" when you call customer service.  Experts predict biometrics will also be used one day in ATMs, online banking and other smart devices.

"They're better than what we have now," said Florida State graduate Claes Bell who works with Bankrate. "It's much more convenient to provide a physical trait that can't be impersonated easily such as your voice or your facial features."

Biometrics is growing so quickly, an industry group called "The FIDO Alliance"- which stands for Fast Identity Online - was formed to push dumping old school text passwords and create standards for these new high tech log-ins  

While it may sound creepy to send your biometric information, "FIDO" calls for the user credentials never to leave the user's device.

"So it's actually on the device itself that way it's under your control and not off in the cloud somewhere that can be hacked into and taken away," explained Mozer.

Donna and Erich Dye say they aren't creed out by using their biometric information. They like the security of it - which they even tried to trick - by using a picture of Donna's face to log in.  The result: "access denied."

"It's definitely cool I like the security of it I like the technology that's put into it," said Erich.

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