Smartphones with biometric transaction authentication review

14 June 2017

Bank PIN-code, which for several decades was considered as the most reliable way to protect customer’s savings, has lost this status in the course of information technology development and perfection of scammers’ skills. Bankers have to learn from the experience of criminologists and use what cannot be faked or stolen, i.e. biometric data: fingerprint, palm vein patterns, voice, iris and other unique features of an individual. The future, where banks recognize a customer through biometric identification using mobile applications, has already come. So, which smartphones are able to ensure reliability of online banking transactions?

Microsoft Lumia 950/950 XL

In addition to Continuum function, Microsoft Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL smartphones can boast another unique feature: iris scanner and Windows Hello face authentication. Together they form a system that works by combining an infrared camera and a conventional front camera for photo and video calls. The identification process is extremely simple and fast. It is necessary just to look in direction of the display. The authentication, firstly, involves an infrared camera that illuminates the user’s eyes, and then a secondary camera, which in turn takes an iris image. The obtained biometric data is compared by means of complex mathematical calculations with those stored on the smartphone.

Microsoft Lumia 950/950 XL

The system operates even in very low light conditions, and the entire identification process takes no more than 2 seconds. In addition, the system is able to implement the iris recognition, even if the user wears glasses or contact lenses. This know-how is planned to be adapted to online payments. So, the two largest banks of South Korea, KEB Hana Bank and Woori Bank, have already announced the introduction of a system for identifying mobile banking users via iris recognition.

Samsung Galaxy S8/S8 Plus

In March, 2017 Samsung officially introduced Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus flagship smartphones. Novelties are immediately endowed with three biometric functions: fingerprint sensor, iris scanner and 2D face recognition technology built into the front camera.

The fingerprint scanner has migrated from the front to the back panel. Now, it is to the right of the main camera. Whether it is convenient for users is a controversial view, as it is too early to judge. The iris scanner is located at the top of the front panel. This innovation allows maintaining a high level of data protection on the device. However, according to users’ review, it is characterized by some slowness in operation and nonsufficient degree of scanning accuracy.

The new features are designed to unlock the screen of Galaxy S8/S8 Plus smartphones, to verify user’s identity when logging into mobile applications, as well as to perform online transactions via Samsung Pay, Google Play and others. However, the developers do not hurry to recommend a face scanner for mobile payments, as they are not sure that by now technology has sufficient level of protection. These fears are also confirmed by Internet videos, where users deceive the sensor, replacing the face with a photo.

iPhone 8

Apple flagship smartphone with Apple A11 processor, released in autumn 2017, in addition to the traditional fingerprint reader Touch ID, will be equipped with 3D face recognition technology. The front camera modules of iPhone8, responsible for face identification, will be manufactured by LG Innotek by its special new technology. Due to this, the authentication process is performed more accurately. In addition, LG technology will allow creating 3D images.

Experts believe that this revolutionary feature will protect users against attackers, who, for example, intend to scan the owner’s photos. It is assumed that face recognition technology will be applicable in mobile banking, using directly Apple Pay contactless payment system. Making selfie, users of iPhone 8 will be able to go through identification process much faster and make online purchases.

iPhone 8

In addition, iPhone 8 will be equipped with Siri 2.0 biometric function, i.e. voice recognition technology. Banking analysts say that the virtual assistant will be “smarter”. In fact, it means that Siri 2.0 will have the option of contextual learning, providing better interaction with users, as well as with built-in iMessage and iCloud. Currently, customers’ voice identification in mobile banking is implemented by such banks, as: Barclays, Wells Fargo, HSBC, Citi, Santander, Caixa, US Bank, ING, and other financial institutions.

In 2017, new identification technologies have begun to go out of the testing phase into an “industrial” application, taking over the entire banking market within just a few years. Passwords and PIN-codes, undoubtedly, will not disappear at once, but remain mostly as a “reserve option”, if for some reason the facial or voice recognition does not work. However, as it always happens, the most advanced technology becomes practically indistinguishable from magic, considerably simplifying people’s life.

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