Biometrics 2015: Consumers demand authentication solutions for a range of services

LONDON, October–The use of biometrics as a form of authentication appears to be approaching critical mass; according to Biometric Research Group, biometric smartphones will soon increase tenfold, from 200 million users in 2015, to two billion users by 2020. The confidence in biometrics as a reliable form of authentication was well reflected at the Biometrics 2015 conference which was attended by high profile figures from Visa, FIDO Alliance, Consult Hyperion and the GSMA.

Yet the central theme of the panel session ‘What the consumer really wants from Authentication’, was not the primacy of biometrics, but how biometrics could, and indeed should be used in conjunction with other forms of authentication. According to representatives from Visa, although biometrics could play a key future role in authentication, data was seen as the primary second factor that their industry needs.

Today, some banks and merchants already use data on consumer spending habits to prevent fraud by requiring ‘step-up’ authentication when a payment is judged to be unusual. However, the use of data as a means of authenticating could become a much more reliable –and widespread- with the increasing use of mobile.

As mobile becomes more deeply integrated into everyday life, mobile data can be more easily collected and used to verify the user in multiple ways. Mobile is already becoming the primary means by which people use the internet, mobile payments are sharply rising and the use of mobile across a range of other use cases, such as transport services, is also increasing. If this data were collated, consumer habits could be determined with greater precision and the risk of fraud could be greatly reduced. Data authentication would be highly convenient for the customer as it would decrease the likelihood of ‘step-up’ authentication and thereby lead to a more streamlined user experience.

Mobile Connect, the mobile industry’s secure, universal authentication solution could play a key role in facilitating the use of authentication data. It is ideally placed to be do so by virtue of the knowledge that operators have of their customers – with whom they have a trusted relationship. Operators can collect user attributes such as location, purchase history and usage history, which in turn can be used to help verify transactions. Mobile Connect also facilitates a wide range of ‘step-up’ authentication methods when needed, and offers the end user a privacy promise, giving them the control over which companies they share what data with.

The introduction of a universal authentication solution for mobile has the potential to unlock a range of new services. Panellists agreed that Mobile Connect could facilitate a number of these such as mobile car keys or flexible parental control, which restricts how a child can spend their pocket money.

As more connected and digital services are developed, consumers will increasingly demand a convenient and secure authentication solution – indeed, this was the consensus amongst panellists at Biometrics 2015. The unique position of operators as a trusted attribute holder makes Mobile Connect well placed to serve service providers across a range of verticals. To discover more information on Mobile Connect, please visit, www.GSMA.Com/MobileConnect.