Retail and commercial banks must strengthen digital security to protect their customers



By Gur Geva, Founder and CEO of iiDENTIFii

Now more than ever, the need to improve data security within financial services and banking institutions has taken center stage. Customers, both business and personal, need more digital functionality. COVID-19 continues to cement the new normal and bring digital trends such as access to a wider variety of online banking services to the fore.

The recent PwC poll indicates that $ 42 billion (Rand 599 billion) has been lost due to economic fraud / criminal activity in the past 24 months. The survey also reveals that the four main types of fraud are customer fraud, cybercrime, asset embezzlement, and bribery and corruption.

Some South African financial sector institutions have taken advantage of the benefits offered by technologies such as facial verification software. However, it is up to the banks to continue to protect their customers, whether they are the “average Joe” on the streets or a multinational corporation.

Locally, the Financial Intelligence Center Act (FICA) has been part of the South African business landscape since July 2003, but incidents of economic crime and fraud are still widely reported. The South African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS) reported that there had been a significant increase in incidents of identity fraud with identity theft up 337 percent.

If we empower our banks to help them discern who legitimate customers are through KYC (Know Your Customer) tools and policies in addition to FICA legislation, a significant amount of risk can be mitigated, not to mention the amount of money that can be saved.

Biometric security is a necessary standard for financial institutions and retail businesses that offer all types of financial services (store accounts / cards / loans and e-commerce facilities). Current protections such as passwords and OTPs used to strengthen security are simply no longer sufficient. People forget PIN codes, lose cards and confuse account numbers. No matter if your customer is a person or a business, an individual is always at the center of any service and their needs must be met.

It’s no secret that Millennials have poor password hygiene, and more than half are likely to reuse passwords or work devices for personal activities. Good or bad, data breaches are inevitable, and the best approach is to ensure a simple solution that can be deployed at scale and that works for the person on the other end of the phone / laptop and the bank / financial institution. in question.

Businesses and banks should realize that deploying biometric security features in their digital facilities and applications is a must, not a maybe. It’s not too tedious a process and banks need to seriously examine and assess their technology infrastructure to determine how they want to invest in their long-term biometric security strategy to compete not only locally, but also internationally.

In most cases, the onboarding of new customers is a critical phase for banks and other financial services institutions as they need to authenticate the identity of that person / company that wishes to use their services. These companies must also ensure the continued security of their existing customers. There is a potential for a ripple effect if a channel turns out to be the weakest link in a chain.

If a bank can come up with effective security measures that encompass the effectiveness and ease of biometric security, like face verification, then I think they would have a competitive advantage in a world that makes cybersecurity one of the day-to-day digital catalysts. adoption.

About the Author

Gur Geva is co-founder and CEO of iiDENTIFii, a market leader in remote digital facial biometric authentication. Geva has a passion for business, technology and people. Since becoming CEO of iiDENTIFii, he has empowered an incredible team and technology partners to become solution creators in the areas of digital identity, biometric verification, AI, and IT. machine learning. The company is proud to enable the digital identity journey for Tier 1 businesses and banks in South Africa and the EMEA region.

DISCLAIMER: Biometric Update Industry Information is submitted content. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Biometric Update.

Articles topics

access management | authentication | bank | biometrics | cybersecurity | digital identity | financial services | identity verification | iiDENTIFii | KYC | integration


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