Introduction to Mobile Biometric Authentication

In an increasingly digitized world, password-based authentication is no longer sufficient to secure applications and software tools. Can biometrics replace traditional passwords in user authentication? Biometrics does offer a safe and easy mode of authenticating users – without compromising their online experience.

Rajeev Sharma
Rajeev Sharma
April 28, 2021
4 min read

Gone are the days when you could simply rely upon your user credentials – username and password – to secure your account. With the increasing number and complexity of cyberattacks, companies need to innovate and develop newer forms of securing their user devices and accounts. As an example, mobile phone users are now accustomed to using alternative modes of authentication like gestures and screen lock patterns – that are gradually replacing passwords.

As the number of smartphone users keeps increasing, biometric solutions are gaining more popularity as they add to the overall user experience and are less intrusive than entering passwords.

What is mobile biometric authentication – and what are its common use cases? Let us discuss that in the following sections.

What Is Mobile Biometric Authentication

In simple terms, mobile biometric authentication is a form of authentication that uses biometrics to detect and authenticate the identity of the user trying to access a mobile app. It can be performed using multiple ways including fingerprint readers, facial recognition, voice recognition, and more.

These biometric tools can either be an addition – or a replacement – for the traditional username-password method.

How is biometrics in mobile devices enabled? Most of the latest smartphones – using Apple, Android, and Microsoft technologies – are now fitted with advanced digital sensors such as touch screens, cameras, fingerprint scanners, and microphones that are facilitating user authentication.

Why is mobile biometric authentication gaining widespread popularity? Here are some reasons:

  • Biometrics allows devices to use your physical attributes – fingerprints, face, voice, or even iris color – to authenticate your identity. This adds to your overall online experience, in place of passwords that are hard to remember.
  • Biometrics can also be used as part of the multi-factor authentication (MFA) process – especially when signing into sensitive or confidential accounts.

Multi-Factor-Authentication

Next, let us look at a few use cases of biometric authentication in mobile phones.

Mobile Biometric Authentication – Use Cases

Mobile biometric authentication is being used in a variety of applications across industries. Here are a few use cases:

  • Mobile banking

Biometric security is among the major challenges for banks and fintech companies. They are using biometrics to authenticate transactions being performed using mobile banking. Additionally, banks are using biometric authentication to validate banking customers when they try to access their mobile banking app or bank accounts. For instance, HSBC Bank has introduced the fingerprint and touch method for its customers to sign into their mobile banking app.

Some financial institutions are also considering biometric authentication – as a replacement for PINs or passwords and even digital signatures.

  • Online retail

Another popular use case – particularly for facial recognition – is in online or eCommerce retail. Online shoppers often abandon their shopping cart or their purchases when they forget their passwords or the normal sign-in procedure is too time-consuming. Facial biometrics can resolve this problem for online shoppers and increase retail business.

For instance, Mastercard has introduced its Identity Check Mobile – the mobile-based biometric authentication solution. Using this mobile app, online shoppers can verify their identity by capturing and sending their selfies to the online retailer's website.

  • Healthcare

The use of biometrics also has widespread application in the field of healthcare. Biometric information – obtained through fingerprint and iris scanning, and facial recognition can enable hospitals to identify patients and retrieve their medical history. This ensures that healthcare facilities can provide the right treatment by having access to the correct information.

As an example, New York-based Northwell Health is using iris scanning and face recognition technology to identify patients in emergency situations – thus preventing any patient fraud or wrong prescriptions.

Introducing LoginRadius Biometric Authentication for Mobile Apps

For both Android and iOS mobile phones, LoginRadius is offering biometric authentication in the form of Face ID and Touch ID. How does this work? Let us take each case:

  • Touch ID is the form of biometric authentication where smartphone users are authenticated with their fingerprints.
  • Face ID allows customer authentication using their facial features.

LoginRadius offers both these options whenever the consumer tries to open their app. Depending on their individual preference, they can choose to set up the form of ID that they are comfortable with.

How does LoginRadius Biometric Authentication benefit smartphone users and business enterprises?

  • Easy to configure on any Android or Apple iOS device.
  • Easy for consumer use as they no longer need to remember passwords to access different apps.
  • Face and Touch-related data for each consumer are locally stored on their phones – and not on any central server or repository where they could be hacked or compromised through any data breach.
  • Beneficial for consumers who are already familiar with the biometric way of authentication.
  • Beneficial for app developers and companies as they do not need to capture or store the consumer’s biometric information.

Conclusion

In an increasingly digitized world, password-based authentication is no longer sufficient to secure applications and software tools. In recent years, a majority of data breaches and hacks have been attributed to configuring weak passwords for user accounts.

Can biometrics replace "traditional" passwords in user authentication? Biometrics does offer a safe and easy mode of authenticating users – without compromising their online experience. This article only provides a glimpse into the use cases where mobile biometrics can be deployed.

With LoginRadius’ Mobile Biometrics Authentication, your business can enhance the security of mobile users along with their online experience.

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Rajeev Sharma

Rajeev Sharma

11+ years of overall experience in technical/application support including 7+ years in leading/managing the technical support team. Rajeev is a customer-focused performer who is committed to quality in every task from personal interaction with coworkers and users to the high level of services provided to the company/customer.True food lover, enjoys playing cricket and volleyball, and a Leisure traveler!!!

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