The race to stem cybercrime using biometrics is on

Aite Group assesses nine emerging technology vendors that could bring biometric authentication into mainstream use.


Boston, December 18, 2013 – Research from Aite Group shows that the time is ripe for biometrics to work their way into remote-channel authentication strategies. The cyberthreat environment is escalating at a frightening pace, while biometric authentication is increasingly accessible. As a result, organizations that were previously wary of introducing friction into the user experience are now looking to biometrics as a viable additional layer of remote-channel and payment security. The cool factor associated with biometric authentication is also intriguing to businesses chasing technologically savvy consumers, according to Aite Group’s new report, Emerging Players in Biometric Authentication: Securing Remote Channels and Payments.

For this report, Aite Group profiles nine emerging technology vendors in the biometric authentication space. The range of biometrics that can be used for remote-channel and payment authentication are varied, and Aite Group's report provides a representative sample of innovative technologies, from those that are fairly transparent to the end user, such as behavioral, signature, and voice biometrics, to more interactive biometrics, such as fingerprint or facial recognition. Use cases the industry is experimenting with are equally varied, including biometrics as an additional layer for online and mobile authentication, voice biometrics in concert with e-signatures, iPads secured by facial recognition, and facial and fingerprint recognition.

The importance of the consumer experience cannot be underestimated. Consumer and cultural norms and values will dictate the success of the solutions, and consumers are willing to change their behavior if there is enough incentive to do so and the experience is relatively painless.

It is also essential to keep tabs on the regulatory environment. As biometric solutions pick up steam, there will inevitably be efforts to regulate their use. Vendors must keep track of this environment and dedicate resources to lobbying as necessary. Misinformed lawmakers could dampen the momentum if they were to impose onerous obligations on businesses seeking to use biometrics.

“Though not a silver bullet, biometrics do have the potential to add a valuable additional layer of security and convenience to remote-channel and payment transactions, particularly when deployed in combination with other technologies such as device fingerprinting or out-of-band authentication,” says Julie Conroy, research director in Retail Banking at Aite Group.