Biometric authentication is a secure personal identification process that uses our unique physical or behavioural characteristics to prove we are who we claim to be.
The terms biometric authentication and biometric verification are synonymous and are often used interchangeably. Both involve the comparison of characteristics against a template or record, for example, a selfie or photo for facial recognition. Verification is often used specifically to describe identity proofing against an official identity document.
What are the different types of biometric authentication?
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This is a common type of biometric authentication. Fingerprint scanners can capture a high-resolution image, most commonly your thumbprint, that is hard to fake.
Facial recognition uses a camera to scan your face and compare it with an image to verify identity. Algorithms analyse, measure and map facial features and the space between them to create a faceprint, which is a recording of the person’s face presented in a numerical format.
Iris scanning deploys camera technology and subtle infrared illumination to get up close, capturing detail-rich images of the coloured part of your eye combined with mathematical pattern-recognition techniques.
Retina scanning projects a low-energy infrared beam into the eye to map this pattern, converting it into a line of machine-readable code.
Voice recognition uses a microphone to capture your voice biometrics or the unique way you speak, like your accent and the frequency and flow of your voice.
How does biometric authentication work?
Biometric authentication works by using our unique physical or behavioural characteristics to assist in identifying us. There are three main steps to the process.
Step 1 – Detection
This involves the detection and collection of biometric data. Detected data is normalised and aligned to a standard data reference set.
Step 2 – Analysis
The detected biometric data is then analysed to extract, measure and map the features or unique patterns that will be used for comparison.
Step 3 – Matching
The biometric template created during analysis is compared to and programmatically matched to an authoritative source. In face recognition, your faceprint is compared to an image extracted from your identity document.
How secure is biometric authentication?
Biometric authentication alone does not deliver a definitive identity proofing process or promise to be 100% fraud-proof. However, liveness checks, identity data verification and transaction fraud detection can all be part of a secure, multi-layered approach to trust.
How is biometric data stored?
Like all sensitive personal identity information (PII), biometric data needs to be protected, and if stored must be encrypted and only transferred via a secure encrypted channel.
GBG’s identity-proofing solution uses face recognition technology. This biometric authentication process doesn’t store the faceprint created in the analysis stage, but removes it once the proofing process is complete.
Onboard customers quickly with biometrics
Speed and convenience matter as much as security for successful brands looking to build customer relationships based on trust.
GBG’s FaceMatch technology provides real-time biometric authentication of potential customers presenting themselves to your business. Identifying against a set of 68 facial landmarks, FaceMatch adds an extra layer of biometric protection by making active and passive liveness checks, establishing the genuine presence of your prospective customer without disrupting their onboarding experience.
Altogether, GBG’s document and biometric solutions deliver a low-touch onboarding experience for businesses and customers. With access to a global library of over 8000 identity documents, delivered via robust SDKs and zero text entry required for customers, the whole process can be completed in as little as 30 seconds, providing a strong digital defence against identity fraud.
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