12o November 2018

How does biometric authentication work?

As criminals become more sophisticated, biometric authentication is the safest way to prove your identity and pay

As criminals become more sophisticated, biometric authentication is the safest way to prove your identity and pay

In a digital age, it is getting increasingly hard to make sure that you and you alone have access to the hard-earned cash in your bank account. There are three common factors used to prove an individual is who they say they are. These authentication factors are:

  1. Something you know (like a PIN, or password)
  2. Something you have (like a smart card, or mobile phone)
  3. Something you are (biometric data, like iris, face or finger vein pattern)

If you rely on passwords, it is essential to pick something difficult to guess. Strong passwords should be at least eight characters long, including numbers and upper and lower case letters.

As code-breaking software and computing power improves, some security experts recommend administrator passwords that are at least 15 characters long. Random is best to keep security strong. But this makes them difficult to remember, and you should avoid writing passwords down. With so many to remember, this can be a real problem.  It’s no surprise that the most commonly used password in the world today is 123456. If you’re using that, and value your security, it’s time for a change.

Using a card, or mobile phone for authentication is incredibly handy. We always have instant authentication on hand, right? Two-thirds of the world’s population own a smartphone. Infamously there are more connected devices in circulation today than toothbrushes. But what happens if your phone is lost, stolen, or runs out of battery? Paying for stuff at the corner shop suddenly becomes a real problem. The environmental cost of issuing plastic credit or debit cards is increasing. If you care about the planet, you should look at better alternatives.

Biometrics provide, sometimes called “naked payments” deliver the something you are factor of authentication. Fingopay is a world-leading authentication solution. There is no need to carry cash, cards, or mobile devices. And you can forget those tricky long strings of secure passwords.

Alan Goode, founder of cybersecurity analysts Goode Intelligence, told the Times: “There’s strong movement towards biometrics because it cuts out a lot of friction now in the system. “There’s a lot of action in this space, but widely different models and rates of adoption. There’s a lot of work on the ‘Martini principle’: being able to make a payment any time, any place, any where. And only biometrics allows that. Cards just don’t.”