Can Multimodal Biometrics Strengthen Online Banking Security?

In the ever changing world of technology, the banking and financial services sector has seen a tremendous shift in the way these services are now being catered to retail and corporate customers. With the millions of dollars being spent by organizations on online services, the online banking and financial services sector become a critical infrastructure for the economy, which needs to be protected from unauthorized access and cyber-attacks because this could lead to deficiency in services provided leakage of customer data. In such a scenario, where security and authentication of users for online banking services is vital for growth of business of banking and financial organizations and for overall economy; the multimodal biometric based authentication systems provide a much effective and secure way to provide online banking services.

Multimodal biometric systems have been proven to be very effective in protecting information and resources in banking applications

Multimodal biometric systems have been proven to be very effective in protecting information and resources in banking applications

Multimodal biometrics is, in brief, the use of multiple Mobile-Ready Biometrics characteristics, used in conjunction, to identify an individual.  There are many characteristics that different technologies can use to identify you, such as fingerprints, iris, voice, facial recognition, facial structure, handwriting, and ear height are being discovered recently.  All of these, on their own, can be faked by a determined person.  It’s when they are used in conjunction, that they identify you in a secure way.  The trick is how to leverage and create a platform that can pull enough identifying characteristics to determine if it is you, without bogging down the platform, or user, with too many verification steps. Multimodal biometrics has been regarded as an effective way of increasing the robustness of biometric-based security systems to external attacks. Combining the information offered by several traits would force an eventual intruder to successfully break several uni-modal modules instead of just one.

For online banking, the degree of login or signing process security can be increased by using multimodal biometrics. Multimodal biometrics can be used to open the token instead of using a PIN and actively interfere in the login or signing process. Multimodal biometrics can be used alone, or in combination with another authentication methods, such as a token. Multimodal biometrics system, that consists of an iris recognition camera and a fingerprint sensor installed on a mouse. The first possibility is to integrate the fingerprint sensor on the token in order to replace the PIN of this device. The user will scan his fingerprint and the token will continue to function as though the user has inserted the PIN. By doing that, the accessing to online banking system can verify and secure from fraudulent. Additionally, solutions based on face recognition and iris recognition is expected to occupy the majority market share in the multimodal biometrics market in recent years. The use of a common imaging device for capturing the face and iris template is expected to cut down the overall cost of implementation. This development is expected to be the major driver for the growth in implementations based on iris recognition and face recognition.

According to TechNavio’s report “Biometric Market in Middle East 2015-2019”, multimodal biometric has high demand in Middle East region. Isbank, Turkey’s largest commercial bank has deployed finger and iris biometric recognition at ATMs. The bank has installed nearly 3,400 finger and iris scanners in 2,400 ATMs across 1,000 branches in the country. Additionally, solutions based on iris recognition are expected to occupy the majority market share in the multimodal biometrics market in recent years. The use of a common imaging device for capturing iris template is expected to cut down the overall cost of implementation. In accordance with BusinessKorea article in May 2015, South Korea’s central bank is looking into multimodal biometrics authentication systems which emphasized on iris and vein recognition.

Multimodal biometric systems have been proven to be very effective in protecting information and resources in banking applications. Multimodal biometric systems can integrate information at various levels. At present, the amount of applications employing biometric systems is quite limited, mainly because of the crucial cost. However, the demand of multimodal biometrics will continuously increase to provide the highest level of security for every transaction to gain customer trust and avoid regulatory fines.