Beyond Biometrics: Three Ways We Make Sure It’s Your Customer

The new rules of authentication demand multiple methods, which we provide in our latest solutions

With people spending more and more time on their mobile phones — an average of three hours and 15 minutes on their phones every day, with the top 20% of smartphone users spending upwards of four and a half hours — “everything mobile” is driving digital transformation. Unfortunately, new fraud opportunities have come along for the ride. While consumers demand their banks protect them from fraud, enhanced protection must be delivered with a customer experience that is fast, easy and consistent.

This is why FICO has invested in innovations in biometrics and behavioral authentication, combined with machine learning analytics, that can create trust in digital identities while streamlining complex onboarding, fraud and compliance processes. You can read the product announcement here, but read on to learn why we launched FICO® Identity Proofing and FICO® Authentication Suite.

“Vanilla” Biometrics Aren’t Strong Enough

Biometric data — such as your face, voice, retinal scan, or fingerprint — has been in use for several years as an identity credential. But biometric data can be dangerously vulnerable to theft and reassignment. At the same time, biometrics are static attributes that cannot be changed, and thus are a core component of effective authentication, which is composed of three elements: what you have, what you know and what you are. When used in conjunction with additional attributes, biometrics add an extremely powerful layer of protection.

Biometrics are only one element of identity proofing — the digital process of onboarding customers without requiring face-to-face verification. It’s all about establishing trust in a digital identity and starts with what you have: you take a photo of your government-issued ID (e.g., a passport or license from anywhere in the world), and then take a selfie. Our solution, FICO Identity Proofing, then corroborates the information between those two inputs, to verify your identity and establish your digital identity.

When you’re taking a photo of your ID, FICO Identity Proofing analyzes elements of that ID to establish its legitimacy. These elements include the ID’s hologram, and an optical character read (OCR) of the text and machine-readable zones such as a QR code. At the same time, the solution extracts a picture of you from the photo on the ID.

When you take a selfie, the software then executes sophisticated machine learning algorithms to detect “liveness” (i.e., the selfie is of a live person) and confirms that the ID has not been spoofed. The selfie also proves that you have possession of the ID card.

Fingerprints Don’t Prove Who You Are

For the three categories of authentication — what you have (possession), what you know (knowledge) and what you are (inherence) — the most common biometric used is the fingerprint. While the fingerprint might seem to be an inherence factor, it turns out more than one person can register fingerprints on a phone, so, in this instance, they became a possession factor. Specifically, the fingerprint really doesn’t capture who you are if you’re dependent on the device and don’t have independent biometrics; it becomes an element of what you have.

What you are can also be established by user behavior and device telemetry. FICO Authentication Suite includes behavioral authentication capabilities. These factors non-intrusively examine user patterns, such as keystroke analysis of the way you enter your password, geolocation, and other behaviors around your device such as which browser you prefer. These patterns create a signature, something unique to you.

Voice Authentication Is Effective and Frictionless

Back to biometrics, FICO’s voice signature capabilities allow you to enroll in online and mobile banking by saying a short phrase, such as “Love my kids,” three times while taking a selfie. By having the factor be specific to your banking app (rather than your device), you establish a mechanism to prove inherence.

Voice biometrics provide a fast, easy way to create a more frictionless, seamless experience for the consumer. They can be used to log into the banking app and verify high-risk transactions involving large dollar amounts, wires or other unusual characteristics.

A Strong Complement to Other FICO Solutions

Together, FICO Identity Proofing and FICO Authentication Suite provide a platform to establish and sustain trust in the digital identity, offering easy-to-use, integrated security across the customer lifecycle.

FICO Identity Proofing and FICO Authentication Suite are strong complements to other FICO solutions that are used to manage risk and optimize customer interactions. For example, clients using FICO® Falcon Fraud Manager will be particularly interested in understanding the options these new solutions will provide, and why our new capabilities are strong additions to the flexible, AI-empowered capabilities of FICO® Falcon X

To learn more about how FICO Identity Proofing and FICO Authentication Suite are being used to create truly seamless digital onboarding experience, read my new Hot Topic Q&A, “Beyond Biometrics: Identity Proofing, Authentication and the Customer Experience.”

Follow me on Twitter @LizFightsFraud.

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