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Tackling identity fraud in the banking sector

Identity fraud is a major concern within the banking sector. As technology continues to advance, so do the methods that fraudsters use to deceive banks and their customers. The use of biometrics and documents is becoming increasingly common in the fight against identity fraud.

One of the main benefits of biometrics is that they are unique to each individual. Fingerprint or facial recognition technology cannot be replicated or forged. This makes biometric authentication a very secure method of verifying identity. On the other hand, traditional documents such as passports or driver's licenses can be faked or altered, making them a less reliable means of authentication.

But why is biometrics superior to traditional documents when it comes to onboarding clients? There are several reasons. First and foremost, biometrics are much more secure. With traditional documents, such as passports or driver's licenses, there's always the risk of fraud or forgery. Even with advanced security measures, such as watermarks or holograms, determined fraudsters can still find ways to create convincing copies. Biometrics, on the other hand, are much harder to replicate. A fingerprint or facial scan is unique to each individual and can't be duplicated, making it an effective tool for verifying identity.

Secondly, biometrics are much more convenient for clients. Instead of having to provide multiple documents, all they need is their physical self. This makes the onboarding process much quicker and more efficient, as there's no need to spend time verifying identity through documents. Plus, it's much harder to misplace or lose your own face or fingerprints than a physical document!

Moreover, biometric authentication can be performed remotely, making it an ideal solution for clients who may be located in different parts of the world or are unable to come in person to complete the onboarding process. With the increasing digitization of the banking industry, this is becoming an increasingly important factor.

However, it's important to remember that biometrics alone are not a foolproof solution. While they are harder to forge than documents, they can still be hacked or compromised if the underlying technology is not secure. Therefore, it's important to have a comprehensive fraud prevention strategy in place that includes both biometric and document-based authentication methods.

Fintechs and neobanks, in particular, have an opportunity to take a fresh approach to fraud prevention. These companies often have more flexible technology infrastructures than traditional banks, allowing them to adopt more innovative and efficient fraud prevention measures.

One way in which fintechs and neobanks can enhance their fraud prevention strategies is by using machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to analyze customer behavior and detect suspicious activity in real-time. For example, these algorithms can flag unusual patterns of transaction activity or highlight attempts to access an account from an unusual location. This allows banks to respond quickly and take preventative measures before any damage is done.

Another strategy is to use blockchain technology to create a secure and immutable ledger of customer identities. This allows for easy verification of customer identity, as well as the ability to track and monitor all transactions associated with that identity. This can help to prevent fraud and provide an additional layer of security.

In conclusion, while biometrics and documents are both important tools in the fight against identity fraud, a comprehensive fraud prevention strategy that incorporates multiple layers of security is essential. Fintechs and neobanks have the opportunity to be at the forefront of innovation in this area, adopting cutting-edge technology to enhance their fraud prevention measures and protect their customers' identities. By staying vigilant and proactive in their approach to fraud prevention, banks of all kinds can maintain the trust and confidence of their customers in an increasingly complex and ever-changing digital landscape.

 

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Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 12 April, 2023, 10:40Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

We've been hearing about the promise of biometric identification / authentication for 15-20 years but the technology has still failed to go mainstream. IMO that's because, unlike passwords documents etc., biometrics is stochastic and therefore subject to reliability issues.

To take a personal example, my fingerprint always works first time on my tablet, works after 3-4 attempts on my laptop and never works on my smartphone. It's obviously due to the difference in quality of fingerprint scanners used in those devices. If somebody tells me I should pay top $ to buy devices with best quality fingerprint reader so that I have no problem using my fingerprint, I'll obviously laugh at their ignorance of consumer behavior.

Ergo, I've noticed one trend: Where biometric readers are purchased by a single party, biometrics has managed to go mainstream e.g. office access. Whereas, where biometric readers are to be purchased by end consumers, they end up in a wide spectrum of price, quality, and reliability, and biometrics has not gone mainstream e.g. Online Banking.

Interestingly, India's Aadhaar identification program, which is based on biometrics, has extremely wide adoption - we cannot get a bank account in India without an Aadhaar Card. Banks do go by biometric identification during account opening when they use their own fingerprint scanner. However, for ongoing login to NetBanking, they use traditional password and OTP, which are deterministic methods of identification and authentication, not biometrics. Ditto mobile phone connections.

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