Nationwide explores biometric alternative to password overload

Nationwide explores biometric alternative to password overload

Nationwide is exploring how behavioral biometrics could provide an alternative to passwords for consumer logins from mobile devices.

The UK building society is working with BehavioSec and Unisys on a prototype that monitors the unique features of an individual’s actions and interactions with their mobile phone or tablet - from the way that they type to how they touch and swipe between screens, and even the way the phone or tablet is held.

The initiative comes as Nationwide releases new research which shows that the average Brit now has to remember six different passwords, while a quarter have over 10 passwords memorised.

More than 70% of the 2000 Brits surveyed admitted that they struggle to remember their passwords, and on average have to click ‘forgotten password’ links twice a month.

Commenting on the research James Smith, head of innovation at Nationwide Building Society says: “While we all know it’s important to change our passwords regularly, this research highlights just how many different passwords people need to remember in an increasingly digital world. With 19 million logins a month on our mobile bank, ensuring Nationwide’s customers can access our services in a safe, secure and simple way is a key priority for the Society.”

When asked what the future could hold for mobile phone security, almost 60% of those surveyed thought that retina scanners would be built-in to devices within 10 years, and almost 30% suggesting that a whole face scanner will be the way to unlock the mobile phones of the future.

Says Smith: “Whether our customers are online, on the phone or in our branches, meeting their needs for every type of transaction is a complex business. We believe that using a range of biometrics, such as fingerprint, facial recognition, behavioural and voice can give customers choice in how they interact with Nationwide in the future, with implications that go far beyond simply logging in to our mobile app."

Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 12 April, 2016, 13:00Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Whatever password alternatives they come up with, I hope they are "future proof" in the sense that they accommodate changes in facial pattern with age, and so on. I know people whose signature has changed as they have become older. Cheques signed by them are bouncing due to signature mismatch!