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Saeed Ahmad, Managing Director, Middle East and North Africa, Callsign.
News & Events

Behavioural biometrics versus physical biometrics

Financial institutions have had to transform their services and business models’ countless times over decades to keep up with technological and cultural changes, which is no mean feat considering the amount of data and sensitive information they’ve always held.

However, as a result, some legacy systems can be a point of vulnerability to these institutions, leaving them open to fraudsters as older technology often doesn’t have the most robust authentication methods in place.

Digital transformation provides banks with an opportunity to build everything with a digital-first mindset. Organisations need to observe online consumer behaviour and then use technology to build processes to accommodate that.

Legacy systems can be a point of vulnerability for these institutions

Financial services institutions’ failure to consider a digital-first approach can have immense implications for the safety of customers. For example, authentication processes that have been merely digitised, such as one-time passwords, are particularly prone to exploitation by criminals.

The pandemic demonstrated this all too clearly, as thousands of people faced a deluge of scams involving text messages. Nearly a quarter of respondents 24% from our latest research say they receive more texts from scammers than their own friends and family.

Financial institutions that rely on the digitised version of outdated processes like this are fuelling the rise in scams and fraud by creating opportunities ripe for cyber-attackers.

Financial institutions need the right technologies to become digital-first. The way they verify and authenticate their users must involve tech that seamlessly integrates into user journeys without causing unnecessary friction.

An example of this is behavioural biometrics. It is vastly superior to physical biometrics in many ways, primarily because it’s device-agnostic – not reliant on a single device. And in an age where customers use a variety of devices and channels, device agnosticism is vital to ensuring the user experience is preserved in a safe, secure, and non-disruptive way.

Older technology does not have the most robust authentication methods in place

Customers expect frictionless journeys, and this type of tech can be seamlessly incorporated into any point of the process, making it a far better authentication method that’s fit for a digital-first financial services industry.

Behavioural biometrics uses millions of data points to verify that a user is genuine, when layered with device and threat intelligence, and removes the single point of failure so often at the heart of digitised authentication methods, an OTP for example.

Customers expect frictionless journeys, and behavioural biometrics integrates seamlessly adding no friction to the authentication process making it an authentication method that’s fit for a digital-first financial services industry.

Authentication processes that have been digitised are particularly prone to exploitation by criminals

Financial institutions need to look at the very technological foundations on which their businesses are established and ensure they’re appropriate to deliver the best digital service for their customers. Simultaneously, they must consider all their customers’ needs when it comes to authenticating their identity and make this a priority rather than an add-on when innovating process


Where customers use a variety of devices and channels, device agnosticism is vital to ensuring the user experience is preserved in a safe way.

Saeed Ahmad, Managing Director, Middle East and North Africa, Callsign.
Saeed Ahmad, Managing Director, Middle East and North Africa, Callsign.