Behavioural biometrics the ‘next wave’ in fighting fraud

Written by Laura Blows
14/02/2018

Behavioural biometrics, which goes beyond the physical biometrics in place today, is “the next wave coming through and will further help [the pensions industry’s] challenges at avoiding fraud”, Equiniti lead business solutions architect Chris Connelly has predicted.

Speaking at PASA’s administration conference yesterday, Connelly described some examples of physical biometrics as the fingerprint, facial or voice recognition identification capabilities used by mobile phones today.

Moving beyond this, behavioural biometrics could recognise how individuals type on a keyboard, a person’s handwriting patterns and “not so much recognising voice patterns but actually recognising the words that individuals use”, Connelly explained. Physical gait is pretty unique too, he added.

Connelly highlighted market statistics that 56 per cent of UK consumers prefer the use of biometrics instead of a password – a figure that jumps to 80 per cent when comparing biometric preference over PIN use.

However, while the use of biometrics is a key part of the ‘digital ID’ of a member, they are not the whole process, Connelly warned, as they do not guarantee the person’s identity.

He gave the example of buying a new phone and setting up its facial recognition. “There’s nothing in that process that would tell my pension scheme that the person who owns this phone is that member number 12 in the pension scheme. You still have to make that bridge with the information you already know about these people. Biometrics is just going to massively increase the ease in which people can engage with you and how they keep engaging with you,” Connelly explained.

He also recommended that the industry move away from using the term ‘biometrics’ with members, because as an industry “we use far too many technical terms”.

Instead, biometrics is about “unobtrusive identification”, which makes identification much harder to cheat but much easier for the person logging in to get through that process, Connelly stated.

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