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Why even use 2FA if we have a fingerprint ID?

The 21st century is the era of technological advancement and the dramatic digital transformation in almost every industry. An increasing number of people demand services online due to their efficiency and convenience. Some sectors are particularly fast at adapting to the new trends. One of such is the financial field, which is quickly becoming one of the most digitized industries of modern times.  

One other, basically a completely new area is social media. Networks on the internet with billions of active daily users represent some of the biggest tech corporations on earth. Some of the most notable ones are Facebook and Twitter, with revenues of $70 billion and $3.5 billion respectively. 

Back to the finances, the industry is being completely transformed by technology. Fintech now is one of the biggest niches of the field. The combination of financial services and digital technologies turned out to be highly beneficial for both customers and businesses. On one hand, customers receive better streamlined, smart, smooth and convenient services. On the other hand, businesses, mainly financial institutions such as commercial banks, get an opportunity to access more people and bigger markets through digital platforms. 

Today, any major commercial bank offers a mobile or a digital platform where its customers can use fast services without visiting a physical branch. This trend, along with the fast development of technology, is primarily caused by the needs of the youth. Millennials have already grown up and are still changing the way we live. They were the ones to make some of the most developed nations almost cashless - or rather, card-dominated.

However, the youngest of us all, Generation Z-ers are those about to make even a bigger revolution. Their needs are unlike anything we have seen before. With them, cashless payments are simply not enough anymore. They require easy, digital options that are well-functional. The industry is certainly delivering on the demand of the youth in almost every part of the world.   

Why do we need more security online 

All in all, we have enormous data stored digitally on different platforms. Our personal information is placed on the internet often misused by digital service providers. Everyone is used to the fact that ads are becoming more and more precisely targeted as a result of the personal data being utilized by marketing companies. However, when it comes to the financial information that is stored on digital banking platforms, everyone prefers to be more cautious. 

Lately, the gambling industry has also become an important user of different authentication methods. Different venues across the world always attracted big crowds due to their innovation in gambling. However, Physical casinos are slowly fading away in many less popular gambling destinations as the technology is gradually changing it to the core. 

Online casinos are more popular than ever before, thus they require safer authentication procedures. Many websites and digital platforms are weak and can easily be tricked. This is of particular significance when it comes to gambling platforms since some accounts are worth thousands of dollars. Yet, many gambling platforms still use one-step verification procedures, which are highly risky. The risk assessment is sometimes not as easy for average users who are not aware of how authentication methods differ and can potentially put their personal information and finances under a threat. In this case, companies should be the ones taking responsibility by introducing toughened verification systems. 

Many gambling platforms are starting to realize that customer trust is a crucial factor, determining the success of the company. Benjamin Aceron, the CTO of Playamo casino asserted that having a multi-factor verification procedure is of utmost importance due to the security reasons. He said that the 2FA method is the most secure one to date and should be used by platforms that safeguard the finances of their clients, inducing online casinos. 

However, many still use much less secure ones, which importantly endangers the users’ data. The same goes for banking platforms, but the majority of commercial institutions have already realized the danger of weak security systems. Now it’s the gambling industry’s turn to increase the user data safety more widely.

The most common methods of authentication 

Today, the majority of banking applications use fingerprint ID technology for gaining access to a user. This often is regarded as the safest authentication method. However, it has its own drawbacks. 

First of all, fingerprints can not be replaced if it has been compromised. In fact, this actually is a realistic possibility. In today’s world, cybercrime rates are getting higher. There have already been recorded cases of fingerprint theft from software companies. Thus, if something similar happens to you, the chances of turning everything around are rather low. Moreover, it is easy to trick the sensor. Depending on the manufacturer, some are actually not well-protected. Finally, the technology is fairly new. It has only been a few years since the fingerprint ID entered the mainstream market. Thus, some of the sensors are still not as advanced and sophisticated as they might be advertised. All in all, fingerprint ID might be easier to use, faster and more convenient, but not essentially the safest. 

On the other hand, there is a 2FA authentication method. 2FA is a Multi-factor authentication with only 2 factors. It asks for pieces of evidence 2 out of 3 possible ones: knowledge(something that only the user knows), inherence(something that only the user is) and possession(something that only the user has. An example of one of the most advanced uses is Google. They have their one-time codes that form the knowledge part. Prior to that, the procedure usually asks for a password. With the ATM machines, the 2FA procedure also includes the possession component since a user must have a card in the first place to use the machine. 

The reason why we still use 2FA technology is simple -  it remains much safer than fingerprint ID. Although the picture might change in the future, trusting the fingerprint sensor with your personal data or more importantly financial information is not yet safe at all. 

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Konstantin Rabin

Konstantin Rabin

Head of Marketing

Kontomatik

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18 Aug 2015

Location

Warsaw

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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Fintech

Fintech discussions and conversations around the development of fintech.


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