US banks sign up for biometric project

US banks sign up for biometric project

The US-based Financial Services Technology Consortium has launched a project to investigate the use of biometrics for verifying customer IDs.

The FSTC says over 20 banks have expressed an interest in the project, including the American Bankers Association which has signed on as a sponsor.

Dan Schutzer, executive director FSTC says the programme will endeavour to develop a methodology for banks to better select, specify, evaluate and deploy biometric applications with greater customer acceptance.

"We also hope to identify and validate at least one or two of them that will make an immediate impact in the fight against identity theft and insider fraud," he adds.

The initiative grew out of a panel discussion at a joint FSTC/Bits summit in early March. A follow-up meeting is planned for later this month at Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco.

A global survey conducted by Unisys last year found that 72% of US citizens would be willing to undergo fingerprint scans to verify their identities when dealing with banks and government organisations.

Comments: (2)

Cedric Pariente
Cedric Pariente - EFFI Consultants - Paris 03 April, 2009, 16:09Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

In order to efficiently fight against identity fraud, banks  will also have to identify.

USB Tokens, Smart Cards, Biometrics... are excellent one-way authentication tools, but as long as the bank is not identified the customers are not protected against phishing, man-in-the-middle & man-in-the-browser.

Authentication of both parties is the answer.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 04 April, 2009, 15:10Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It is probably some sort of deal with the government. Fingerprints might be acceptable to the public but have proved to be of no use in practice, An ill-fated idea bound to fail, ask the folks at Narita Airport. See

She wasn't the only one and neither was Narita. Do a search and you'll see the issues, dirty fingerprint readers, the disease aspect, the need to have an attendant at the scanner to encourage people to put their finger in, and they just don't work at all for some people, too many. Don't believe the propaganda about fingerprints you see in TV dramas, it's the real world you have to contend with.

I always ask - What is Plan B? Hopefully not the Blank look you'll get from the gadget salesman. Others are already using eye-scanners, but they too have no back-up plan, except buy a whole new system when it becomes too compromised, only they'll have to find something else to scan - see my blog.

What the heck, it's only risk, and since when have banks paid any attention to that anyway, the government will always bail them out from bad decisions.