3 April, 2019

Two-factor authentication (2FA) has become a common authentication method used by various organisations and platforms for security purposes. But with continuously evolving technology and increasingly sophisticated hacking tools, is 2FA here to stay?

Two-factor authentication uses two methods to authenticate users when they access sensitive accounts and digital assets – something you know (e.g.: login details) and something you have (e.g.: your mobile phone).

Most financial institutions, for instance, send one-time passcodes to customers through SMS  messages to approve transactions. Adding this extra layer of complexity helps prevent fraudulent transactions.

SMS codes, push-based notifications and security keys are all different forms of 2FA currently available. But they vary in effectiveness. As cybercriminals become increasingly aggressive and sophisticated in their attacks, organisations are advancing their authentication methods in order to remain effective.

The move to biometric authentication

2FA utilises information you know with something you have. Multi-biometric authentication adds another layer of security by also requesting something you are – biometric data, such as fingerprints or facial recognition.

Biometric authentication compares biometric data provided (like fingerprint or voice) to a stored, confirmed authentic data in a database. If they match, authentication is confirmed.

Once only the stuff of spy movies, the market size for biometrics is expected to reach $59.31 billion by 2025 according to a study by Grand View Research. Unsurprisingly, Banking and Finance is expected to become one of the leading industries to adopt the technology.

The future is here 

Last year Mastercard announced that by April 2019, biometrics authentication will be available to all customers. This means that banks offering Mastercard-branded cards will have to also offer the option of biometric authentication for remote transactions.

And it seems both consumers and banking professionals are keen to see this method in place – with over 90 percent of each citing biometric authentication as the verification of choice.

It’s not hard to see why. Biometric technology offers financial institutions and their customers a way to secure payments and detect fraudulent activities.

For financial institutions, there are a number of added benefits of adopting biometric authentication:

  • – Increased security
  • – Improved, frictionless customer experiences
  • – Cost-savings

Consumers also benefit from this verification method. You won’t forget your biometric data, as it’s literally a part of you, whether it’s your face, voice or fingerprint. It brings peace of mind, knowing no one else has access to this data, so your account is safe.

Convenience is another bonus for consumers in a time-poor world. Biometric authentication speeds up the check-out process by 85 percent, saving you time and greatly improving your online purchasing experiences.

In an increasingly digital and interconnected world all industries will need to keep up with new technologies to improve the security of their data. The future will continue to see the reliance on PINs and passwords decrease, as they are more susceptible to attacks. They’ll be slowly replaced by advanced technologies such as biometric authentication, that offer not only increased security but also time savings and more convenience.