Fingerprint verification the next technology for telecoms?

Fingerprints prove to be 100 per cent accurate in identity verification. So could this be the new technology used by mobile providers and resellers to cut fraud by confirming identity?

Fingerprint analysis is an established and accepted form of determining identity by law enforcement. It has been for decades and recent studies have confirmed just how accurate it is.  The Miami-Dade Police Department conducted a four-year national study on fingerprint analysis* and found that the fingerprint analyses of 109 examiners resulted in a zero-error rating.

One major smartphone manufacturer has already worked with the high street banks to introduce fingerprint verification to sign into mobile banking apps, but could this technology be used as identity verification in everyday commerce with consumers, for example, when buying a new handset and mobile contract?  Consumers seem to think so!  A recent study revealed 14 per cent of the population believe that by 2020 biometrics (like retina or fingerprint scans) will be common place.  Two in five (44%) say they would be prepared to make payments via biometric scanning.

Until the technology is widely available, here are four ways to verify your customers and keep them safe:

1. Real-time electronic bank account data verification
When accepting card payments or setting up direct debits for customers, using real-time electronic checks to quickly verify their details creates a definitive link between the individual and the bank account information they provide.   By making the link between your customer and their bank account you reduce the risk of fraud, while also ensuring that your customer’s payments can be made without any issue thus reducing errors.

2. Personalised identity verification questions
Using information that would only be known to the customer, a set of personalised questions are generated to confirm their identity.  Using these customer focused questions removes the need for verifying documentation when setting up an account, or even the use of security tokens or passwords for existing customer’s accessing their account, making for an easier and safer interaction between you and them.

3. Real-time electronic identity authentication
Simply using the data provided by the customer at the time of their application, you can confidently verify their identity electronically, without the need for any paper-based documents.  The data they provide can be run against millions of electronic records and measured in breadth, depth and quality to provide you with a positive ID in seconds.  Quickly and confidently identifying your customer without any extra hassle on their part will help to improve the customer’s experience and will reduce drop-off rates.

4. Instant document checking with a photo
Customers can now submit a photo of their identification using their smartphone, tablet, scanner or digital camera.  Key information and characteristics are extracted and the document is verified.  This technology allows customers to conveniently complete their online application without ever having to go to a store or provide a physical document.  It also works for in-store checks to build a more trusted relationship with the customer.
* Miami-Dade Research Study for the Reliability of the ACE-V Process: Accuracy & Precision in Latent Fingerprint Examinations – https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/248534.pdf – December 2014.