30 May 2022
User authentication and verification are crucial for online security because the internet depends on trust. Booking accommodation with a host, accessing your bank account, applying for government benefits, accepting a new friend request on social media — millions of online interactions and transactions take place every day and they all depend on trust.
Over time, many authentication methods have been developed to establish trust online: passwords, PINs, secret questions, one-time passcodes via SMS, and so on. Biometrics have become increasingly common because they offer a highly convenient, secure, and inclusive alternative to oft-forgotten or stolen passwords and PINs. This makes biometrics very useful for online identity verification and authentication.
In this article, we’ll explain why face biometrics is the best way to authenticate and verify users online.
Before we begin, two things to note:
So, what are the advantages of biometrics for online identity verification and authentication?
A truly passive face biometric verification solution involves a person looking into their user-facing camera. That’s it. There’s nothing to remember, no complex instructions to read, and nothing that you can break or lose. There’s complex technology at work to make biometrics secure, but for the user it’s strikingly simple, fast, and convenient.
How does iProov deliver a fast and convenient user experience?
iProov delivers passive face biometric solutions. The key differences between an active and a passive solution can be found here. Essentialy, it means that the technology does the hard work and makes it effortless for the user – minimizing friction and making it more inclusive. iProov believes that strong security can also offer an excellent user experience without the need to make the user make random movements, say numbers, or follow dots.
iProov’s reassuring ceremony takes just a few seconds. There are no complex steps for the user to take: just look at the user-facing camera and you’re done.
To summarize, iProov technology delivers a fast and convenient user experience because it is:
Biometrics are more secure than knowledge-based authentication methods (like passwords or shared secrets) because biometrics can’t be stolen — nobody can steal your genuine face. They can take a copy of your face, but they can’t steal it. Biometrics are also more secure than possession-based authentication because you can’t lose or break your face. You can lose or break a mobile phone, or leave your card reader at home, but your biometrics are always with you.
The right biometric solution can offer the highest levels of security, without compromising on usability and simplicity for the user (which is why you need to be careful choosing your biometric vendor!)
How does iProov offer secure biometrics?
There’s a reason biometric technology – particularly iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance® – is chosen by the world’s most security-conscious organizations (such as governments and banks) that need to safeguard sensitive information and secure high-risk transactions.
iProov is different to other biometric solutions because it verifies that the remote user is the right person, the real person, and that they are interacting in real-time. The latter is critical. Verifying that a user is the right person, that their face matches their photo identity document, is relatively simple. Verifying that they are not a deepfake or a pre-recorded authentication is much harder and that is what sets iProov apart from other biometric vendors.
iProov’s unrivaled spoof attack detection has been tested by the most rigorous organizations, including independent testing on behalf of the US Department of Homeland Security and other national government organizations. Genuine Presence Assurance defends, detects and protects against threats such as:
Additionally, cloud-based technology enables active threat monitoring and evolving security against new threats. You can read more about cloud vs on-device biometrics here and our active threat management service, iProov Security Operations Center (iSOC), here.
Ultimately, iProov’s face biometric technology proves that world-class security does not have to be complex for the user.
To summarize, iProov’s biometric face authentication technology delivers the highest levels of security because it:
The right face biometric solution can deliver a more straightforward and seamless user experience. This can mean users are far more likely to complete your organization’s onboarding or authentication processes.
Governments, financial organizations and many other industries have embraced face biometrics for effortless customer experiences that minimize drop-off and deliver high customer satisfaction.
How does iProov deliver high success rates?
Face biometrics only needs a device with a user-facing camera – no specialist hardware is required. The vast majority of devices have a camera; not all have a microphone or fingerprint scanning pad. The ubiquity of mobile and tablet device usage across multiple demographic groups means that the right face biometric solution can deliver maximum inclusivity and accessibility.
For a digital solution to be widely adopted it must be inclusive, and services provided online must be simple to use and offer convenience rather than obstacles for a customer. Traditional methods like visiting a branch may be difficult or impractical for some people. Face biometrics provide a secure online alternative that supports customers in multiple regions and diverse populations.
But ultimately, the inclusivity and accessibility is very much down to the type of face biometrics used.
How does iProov deliver inclusivity and accessibility?
Inclusivity and accessibility are at the heart of our solutions. iProov facial biometrics are accessible regardless of age, gender, ethnicity and cognitive ability. The technology is completely passive and intuitive. The user does not have to smile or turn their head – which is common in many active biometric solutions – but instead simply look at their device. And the more people that can use a solution, the greater reach it has.
iProov works on any device with a user-facing camera. For those that do not possess a smartphone, or require additional assistance in person, we have made our solution available on kiosks – which allows organizations to offer secure services to citizens and customers without access to a smartphone. Anyone can use iProov’s face verification, from the age of 16 to 106!
To summarize, iProov face biometric technology offers inclusivity because it:
Usability means minimizing friction for users. Good usability means effortless access for the widest section of the population as possible. With face biometrics, everyone has a face, so everyone can authenticate.
Usability is the fundamental business requirement of any authentication solution. There are several aspects that must be taken into account. First, it means that any solution should be user-centric and no effort such as complex instructions or actions should be expected from the user. It’s not equitable to demand ownership of a particular technology or device to authenticate.
How does iProov deliver usability?
Face verification can enable a fully automated, secure, effortless and regulatory-compliant digital onboarding journey. Manual verification and authentication, such as in-branch visits or contacting call centers, can negatively impact customer experience and significantly slow things down. With face biometrics, people are able to prove that they are who they say they are securely and conveniently without ever having to leave the comfort of their own couch.
To verify an asserted identity remotely, you also need to scan the ID of a government-issued photo document. This is a distinct advantage of face biometrics specifically, because these IDs largely use the face as means of identification. You could not enroll someone by asking for their fingerprint or their phone number – usually, a face is the only option for verifying someone against an ID.
One Mckinsey report found a 90% reduction in customer onboarding costs by using digital ID-enabled processes.
Ultimately, face biometrics can replace or enhance manual verification to both reduce overall costs and increase accuracy, all while aiding organizational compliance with KYC and AML regulations. It also bolsters fraud prevention efforts and speeds up the onboarding process, which works to maximize customer success rates and reduce drop-off during application.
To summarize, iProov face biometric technology increases efficiency because it:
It’s possible to make things too easy. For example, let’s say that a person is making a large payment. They want to feel and see the security verification taking place. If they don’t experience any sort of verification, they may be unnerved, which could cause them to distrust the company or service. The appropriate level of reassurance is important.
At iProov, we call this the “ceremony”: the user is aware that the authentication is happening and they feel reassured that security is being applied.
How does iProov deliver reassurance to users?
And there we have the top advantages of face biometrics. If you’d like to see the benefits of using face authentication to secure and streamline user authentication for your organization, book your demo here. You can read up further on our customers and case studies here.