Texas-based USAA is to offer consumers the option of using voice and facial recognition technologies to log into their accounts over mobile devices.
The move extends the mobile app’s multifactor authentication options to include a unique PIN, face and voice recognition - all of which work in conjunction with a security code generated by the app for each login.
Gary McAlum, USAA’s chief security officer, says: “The use of multifactor authentication through biometrics is one of the most effective ways to increase security protection as traditional passwords become increasingly obsolete.”
USAA’s facial recognition requires users to look at the screen and, when prompted, blink their eyes. For voice recognition, users must read a short phrase. The nationwide roll out follows a successful pilot in California, Texas and Florida.
The new option will be available through an update to the USAA mobile app for iOS and Android devices.
McAlum says the financial services group also plans to test the use of fingerprint identification for future iterations of the app.
A report released today by Juniper Research forecasts that more than 770 million biometric authentication applications will be downloaded per annum by 2019, up from just six million this year and dramatically reducing dependence on alphanumeric passwords in the mobile phone market.
Meanwhile, research just published by Visa Europe indicates that three-quarters of 16- to 24-year-olds are ready to ditch passwords in favour of biometric security measures such as facial recognition, fingerprint and retina scanning.
In a survey of over 2000 UK adults, 76% said they would feel comfortable making a payment using biometric security and 69% believe this would make their lives faster and easier.