Biometric Identity Verification System

Biometric Identity Verification System: A Detailed Analysis for Robust KYC

Introduction to Biometric Identity Verification System

Earlier in the 1800s, the Biometric Identity Verification System was first introduced in Paris, France. Alphonse Bertillon developed a specific method of classification for criminals through body measurements. Subsequently, the system, even after having loopholes paved the way for biological characteristics for identification. The system of fingerprint identification also dates back to the late 1800s. Sir Edward Henry of Bengal Police was the first one to establish the fingerprint record system in London.

Henry Faulds and Edward Henry

Sir Edward Henry is not to be confused with Henry Faulds, who is known as the father of forensic fingerprinting. Henry Faulds was never credited in his lifetime for being the pioneer of fingerprint identification. However, Sir Edward Henry took his mission further and established the first-ever recorded fingerprint classification system in 1896.

Evolution of Biometric Identity Verification System

Over the brief historical period of a century, Biometric Identity Verification System evolved, and new modalities were introduced. Today, the Biometric IDV System stands as a basic requirement for every financial institution and bank. Knowingly, as of 2016, 57% of companies use biometrics for authentication. Moreover, the following timeline explains the evolution of the Biometric IDV System in detail.

Biometric IDV Evolution Timeline

A decade of Rapid shift in a Biometric Identity Verification System

Since the last decade, biometric systems have been widely used. Also, the advancement in biometric technology increased a lot. Rapidly, companies switched their authentication and identity verification to Biometrics for seamless processes. For example, in 2013, Apple introduced the fingerprint lock in iPhone. Consequently, the concept evolved, and now most smartphones have fingerprint identification and authentication functions.

Types of a 'Biometric Identity Verification System'

Currently, the main types of Biometric IDV Systems which are widely used are as follows:

Fingerprint Recognition

As discussed above, fingerprints have been used for quite a long time for identity verification. It is a biometric IDV in which fingerprint patterns, friction ridges and other techniques are used to identify people. Notably, numerous methods are used for Fingerprint IDV, such as optical fingerprint recognition, capacitive sensors and ultrasound fingerprint.

Voice Recognition

Voice or Speaker recognition has two further types:

  1. Text Dependent - It is triggered with a phrase or password that was spoken before actual VR starts
  2. Text Independent - It recognizes an unpatterned or unconstrained voice as long as basic data is provided

Usually, it is a combination of both aural and physical components of voice. Pitch, Depth, Tone and accent matters in VR. Given that, VR is widely used when a person is unable to provide fingerprints. Likewise, it also helps the blind person in many situations.

Iris Recognition

Similarly, Iris recognition works in the concept of the retina (eye scan) through infrared light. Actually, Iris Melanin is transparent in infrared light. So, the unique pattern in melanin of every eye can be differentiated easily. Particularly, Iris recognition enables a high level of identification in a large population. Previously, Iris recognition was outwitted with pictures of eyes, but the latest Iris recognition is much more advanced and fool-proof. Now, Iris IDV Systems can also detect the liveliness, temperature and moisture in the eye to make it more accurate.

Vein Pattern Recognition

Likewise, the blood vessel pattern is proven to be different in every human being. Which is why infrared light can be shed on a specific body part. Based on the principle of photographic reflection, the image of this pattern can be identified. Vein Pattern is the next level of the Biometric Identity Verification System. However, it is still uncommon in many regions of the world.

Face Recognition

Undeniably, Facial Recognition is by far the most demanding Biometric IDV System. Mostly, the concern is that a person is not wearing a mask. Automatically, Face Recognition detects the features of an individual’s face in 3D or 2D dimensions. The system can be outwitted through photographs, masks and make-up. Besides, scientists are working on developing facial recognition systems that are much more complex. Through embedding Artificial Intelligence and other technologies, this IDV system is the future. Currently, smartphones also offer facial recognition phone locks.

Use cases of Biometric IDV System.

  • Mumbai Terror Attacks - 2008: Biometric technology was used to identify the attackers and track down their accomplices.
  • Boston Marathon Bombing: Biometric technology was used to identify the suspect through facial recognition.
  • London Subway Bombing: Biometric technology was used to identify the suspects in the 2005 bombing.
  • Paris Attacks - 2015: Biometric technology was used to identify the terrorists involved in the attacks.
  • Orlando Nightclub Shooting: Biometric technology was used to identify the shooter and confirm his identity.

Banks using Biometric Identity Verification System

  • HSBC uses a biometric identity verification system. Through voice recognition technology, it quickly and securely verifies customer identity, reducing the risk of money laundering.
  • Barclays Bank in the UK uses a Biometric IDV system for their mobile banking app. Hence, it allows customers to securely access their accounts using facial recognition or fingerprint scanning.
  • Bank of America has integrated biometric identity verification into their mobile banking app, using a combination of facial recognition and voice biometrics to securely authenticate users.
  • Standard Chartered Bank uses biometric identity verification through face recognition technology to quickly and easily verify customer identity. Also, to reduce the risk of fraud and money laundering, it has been useful.
  • JPMorgan Chase has integrated a biometric identity verification system in their mobile banking app verification. Thus, using facial recognition technology to securely and conveniently authenticate customers.

Robust KYC through Biometric Identity Verification System

Overall, the above discussion talks about Biometric technology and how it is useful in recognizing someone. Similarly, KYC (Know Your Customer) is a practice in which the data for customer identification is collected and verified. So, the linkage between the two concepts is quite strong. Moreover, it is now a standard practice everywhere to embed biometric identification in KYC systems. Blockchain Technology, alongside Biometric IDV, builds a strong foundation for a robust eKYC. Thus, customer identification & verification becomes swift, error-free and spoofing proof.

Final Thoughts

Finally, KYC through Biometric Identity Verification System helps in the mitigation of Money Laundering. In the view of regulators, biometric verification is by far the best approach for secure financial transactions. Moreover, this editorial provides basic knowledge of Biometric IDV systems. For further information, visit KYC AML Guide.

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