After first hearing about EyeVerify at Finovate Spring earlier this year, where the company won best of show, we were intrigued. If you haven’t already heard of them, EyeVerify developed mobile authentication technology they call Eyeprint ID, that replaces traditional passwords with the uniqueness of the human eye, or your “eyeprint.”
Recently we chatted with Chris Barnett, EVP of Global Sales & Marketing, EyeVerify, to learn a bit more about their new biometric for banking.
Banking.com: What challenge are you solving with Eyeprint ID?
Chris Barnett: The problem that Eyeprint ID solves is the password: Both the inconvenience of a password and the security vulnerability of a password.
Users hate passwords. They choose passwords that are too easy for hackers to guess (e.g. “Royals2014”) or use the same username and password for 50-100 sites and apps. When passwords are made “stronger” by IT policy, users rebel by sharing them, writing them down somewhere obvious, constantly resetting them or just avoiding use of the service in question.
Hackers know that passwords are the Achilles’ Heel of internet and mobile. That’s why Russian mobsters have an arsenal of over 1 billion stolen passwords and that’s why a stolen username and password sells for more on the black market than a stolen credit card number.
How does this technology reduce costs to the traditional banking business?
Banks, credit unions, investment firms, payment systems and other stakeholders in the financial services industry can affordably implement Eyeprint ID to secure their employees’ access to vital corporate systems and for customers to securely access their account data and services.
Eyeprint ID requires no additional expensive software or hardware. With other biometric solutions, there is extra hardware needed and, in many cases, only supported on a few specific devices.
The business case for banks is straightforward. They have excellent internal hard data on the high costs of password resets, lockouts and customers care calls for password problems. They also know the fraud cost of password hacks and the opportunity cost of low adoption of mobile services. Users come to branches when they fear doing a smartphone transaction or when they cannot due to password pain.
What expectations do you have for financial institutions and end-user adoption of biometrics?
Eyeprint ID is already in market for consumers among 20 banks in Australia that are leveraging the digital banking platform provided by The System Works Group. Many banks are adopting EyeVerify to protect their internal employees phones using solutions from Good Technology and AirWatch. Recently we did a wonderful proof of concept demo in partnership with Digital Insight.
We expect to see more than a million mobile banking customers using EyeVerify by the end of 2015.
What are your long-term goals? Is it to eliminate passwords forever?
Over the medium to long term we expect that nearly all financial transactions done on smart devices that will have a fingerprint or eye biometric option. Typically both will be present as options for the bank, merchant or user to opt into. There will be a lot of fingerprint vendors carving out market share, but we believe that Eyeprint ID is by far the best eye biometric option for all parties. We foresee that a majority of the eye based biometrics activity worldwide will be using EyeVerify’s solution.