17 September 2014

Workers CU authenticates staff with fingerprint readers

24 June 2014  |  685 views  |  0 Source: DigitalPersona

DigitalPersona, Inc., a trusted partner for biometric identity verification solutions, today announced that its DigitalPersona® Pro with U.are.U® 4500 Fingerprint Readers solution has been implemented to authenticate employee identities at Workers' Credit Union (WCU).

With 15 branches across North Central Massachusetts, WCU's 240 employees now use DigitalPersona biometrics-based technology to confirm positive identity when accessing online applications and websites. WCU selected the DigitalPersona solution to increase its security, eliminate password resets and improve employee workflow.

This biometrics-based solution is ideal for credit unions and community banks that currently require password-based authentication to access financial information. Passwords can be shared, creating the potential for fraud. They can also be stored on paper and left in the open for others to misuse. If an employee misplaces or forgets their password — which commonly occurs since passwords must be long and changed frequently to meet industry security standards — calls for password resets distract IT personnel from more critical business-driven activities.

WCU considered software to automate password resets, but ultimately determined that implementing biometrics-based technology would be easier for both its employees and back office administrative staff. With the DigitalPersona solution, WCU employees simply touch the fingerprint reader to gain access to online applications and websites. Since fingerprints are uniquely tied to each individual and cannot be shared, lost or misplaced, WCU has a more secure way to confirm positive identity and improve its workflow. Using just their fingerprint to access dual login screens especially speeds employee productivity.

"With DigitalPersona's solution, we have improved our workflow and our customer service, as we now have more time to focus on serving our members rather than remembering and inputting lengthy passwords," said Dave Thibodeau, vice president of information technology at Workers' Credit Union. "It has also enhanced our security since the solution provides an audit trail that tells us who accesses what information."

WCU employees have recovered two to three percent of their time that used to be lost to remembering and keying in passwords. In turn, the credit union's IT help desk has gained two to three percent of its time back since they no longer have to contend with password resets. DigitalPersona's biometrics-based solution has also helped streamline WCU's member services. Members no longer have to wait for the help desk to reissue an employee's password before receiving assistance.

With the success of biometrics for logical access to online applications and websites, WCU is now expanding its use of biometrics-based technology for physical access to its buildings and networks. Another potential use of the technology for credit unions and community banks is confirming the identities of the "unbanked" — those who currently lack the proper identification credentials required to secure an account.

"For more than 18 years, our solutions have assisted financial institutions with securing access to applications and accounts," said Richard Agostinelli, DigitalPersona president and CEO. "With our latest solution, Altus, we look forward to helping these same financial institutions grow their business by using biometrics to provide an assured identity to the unbanked."

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