11 November 2021
The demand for online biometric authentication is soaring. Consumers love the convenience of using face verification to prove their identity online. Organizations are recognizing that biometrics offer security and other benefits far beyond what passwords and other authentication methods can deliver.
But there are many biometric systems and different biometric companies and vendors. So how do you know which one is right for your organization?
The right vendor will depend largely on your use-case. For some organizations, especially in government or financial services, finding a system with the highest levels of security will be the deciding factor. In other cases, organizations will be looking for flexibility in how they handle different levels of risk. There are numerous factors that must be taken into consideration, including security, scalability, performance, privacy, and cost.
Let’s walk through your top considerations when evaluating biometric authentication vendors.
Before you begin the evaluation of the biometric authentication systems available to you, establish what levels of security you need and where the risks lie for your organization. Ask yourself the following questions:
Usability and inclusivity are crucial. Your biometric solution should be usable by the largest section of the population possible. When considering a vendor for usability, ask the following questions:
Make sure you compare the accuracy of the solutions you’re evaluating. Accuracy plays a large part in the user experience; if an authentication fails, for whatever reason, a user’s frustration will increase. This, in turn, affects your brand image and customer satisfaction as well as cost. It’s important to establish the vendor’s false rejection rates (FRR) as well as their false acceptance rates (FAR).
A key metric of performance to consider is the average number of attempts good users need to pass. Ideally, every honest person would pass on the first attempt. However, it is likely that some legitimate authentications will fail, and an average number greater than one is inevitable. How much greater than one is a good measure of usability and your likely conversion rate. Ask your vendor for this number, as well as the size of the sample it was based on and how they calculated it. Ask existing customers for their experience.
Many organizations do not have a clear idea of how great the adoption of biometric authentication will be among their users. Expected levels of demand can vary enormously from actual outcomes over time. You need to ensure that the solution you choose will scale quickly and cost effectively. If you host the solution yourself, can you provision and afford the servers needed to cover all outcomes? If you choose a cloud-based provider, do they have a track record of supporting high levels of demand?
Addressing privacy from multiple angles—your users’ concerns, your organizational needs, and the requirements of any regulators or other organizations that might need to be considered—is important. When selecting a vendor, ask the following questions:
Biometric systems can be priced in different ways and can include different components. For example, some cloud vendors include hosting costs in their pricing structure while others expect the organization to bear these costs directly. Build a few models of potential uses so you have options and can work with the vendor to find the best possible model for your budget requirements. You can read more about cloud versus on-device biometric systems here.
How do vendors process all their authentications? When a vendor’s technology isn’t good enough, some rely on manual checks—and manual checks affect privacy and accuracy. In addition, manual checks don’t scale—if your volume doubles unexpectedly, the vendor is unlikely to be able to double the number of manual checkers.
Is the vendor easy to work with? Do they have customer-focused people and processes? What do their other customers and partners say about them?
If you’d like to learn more about biometric authentication and biometric vendors, you’re in luck: we’ve written the complete guide! Download your free copy of Biometric Authentication For Dummies here.
And if you’d like to learn more about how iProov can secure and streamline your organization’s online verification, authentication, and onboarding, book your demo today.