Atom Bank to adopt biometric technology

By Madhvi Mavadiya | 16 December 2015

Challenger bank Atom has announced the implementation of face and voice biometric customer authorisation, ready for when the digital bank launches in 2016.

The banking industry continues to evolve as this report comes soon after Atom Bank was named 8th most innovative fintech company in KPMG’s Fintech 100 list and weeks after Spanish lender BBVA invested £45 million into the UK’s first mobile only bank.

Atom will use software company Daon’s mobile biometric authentication platform IdentityX, which is already being used by USAA, American financial services company, who have one million registered users. 80% of their customers prefer the biometric authentication to the PIN and password.

CSC, IT services and solutions company and provider of ConfidentID technology, have joined with Atom to provide the biometric mobile user authentication service, which is also powered by the Daon platform.

bobsguide spoke to Conor White, president, Americas, at Daon earlier this year and he believes that this form of technology will help the industry move away from defining a person by their password. “If you’re authenticating a person and not something that represents a person like a token or a password, then it can remove most of the issues that we have with online commerce today,” White explained.

Biometric technology is becoming increasing popular as an alternative method to the traditional password because of security risk and the unreliability of the human memory. Atom Bank, with this new technology, are attempting to resolve this issue with face and voice biometrics and will add fingerprint authorisation in the near future.

Fingerprint scanning has been used prolifically recently after the introduction of the technology on Apple products and this is only set to increase, but it questions whether or not facial and voice recognition will be received in the same way. Although, the form of tech that Atom intend on using is similar to that used at airports and international border controls.

Chief innovation officer at Atom, Edward Twiddy, highlights that this is not a one step process and it will operate effectively because a customer’s identity credentials are registered and they will be able to choose how to log in to the app.

Using a combination of facial recognition, passcode and voice recognition, a customer will be able to do everything they need to do within the app. We know customers of other banks get frustrated today with not being able to do everything they want to do online or in-app and with Atom, this frustration won’t exist,” Twiddy said. 

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