Summary: new authentication processes in banking

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We are done with bank bureaucracy – new authentication processes show the art of getting things done without the usual piles of paperwork or superfluous phone calls. New technologies in authentication allow individuals to optimize their personal finances with biometric scanning techniques. A handful of companies and banks are at the forefront of this revolution, such as Number26, MasterCard, and ING NL.

Number26 is one of the newest kinds of online „modern bank accounts“: the company touts banking simplicity with a quick authentication procedure and easily accessible account management interface. According to their website, an account can be verified (by showing your ID via webcam) and opened within 8 minutes. The account comes with a pre-paid MasterCard with no fees and access to your transactions via mobile or desktop. The entire onboarding process does not take very long, according to one of our employees who tested the process himself: once the account has been verified, the credit card is sent by mail in a couple of days.

According to CNN Money, MasterCard has also reported it is going to testing online shopping authentication methods via face scan. In Fall 2015, 500 MasterCard users will be able to confirm their online purchase via fingerprint or selfie. Further details are not given yet as to where this testing period will take place or what sort of target group will be using the scanning methods.

ING NL, a Dutch bank, is also one of the most innovative in the field of authentication. Since March 2015, ING app users could use their fingerprint or voice command within the banking application. Now users can even pay with the same commands: voice commands are available on iOS and Android, but the fingerprint option is currently only available via Apple’s TouchID. The bank stated that 1 in 3 people use the fingerprint technology in the app, and 100,000 use the voice command.

In the Ernst & Young „Global Consumer Banking Survey 2014“, all banking channels are listed by global current use percentage (pg. 25). The results show that bank clients log into their online bank account at least once a week via desktop or mobile. However, certain financial activities are always preferred to be done in person, such as deposits or investments. It will be interesting to see whether the developments of online and mobile banking will extend to all bank activities, as financial institutions recognize the demand for immediate and universal monetary access.