Biometric technology currently has a market value of USD 27.92 billion. By 2025, this value is forecasted by experts to reach approximately USD 68.6 billion. These numbers do not come as a surprise, particularly due to the countless benefits of performing identity verification through biometric technology. Verification of digital identities has become necessary in today’s day and age, given the need for filtering out legitimate users from a sea of fraudsters. In this blog, we will take a look at the key methods of performing biometric verification along with some benefits and industry examples. Let’s start by understanding what biometric authentication is.
Introduction to Biometric Identification
Biometric identification refers to the process of verifying the identity of an individual through their biological characteristics. The process can be subdivided into categories; physical and behavioral biometric verification.
Physical verification involves analyzing an individual’s physical characteristics for the purpose of identification. This can include facial recognition, fingerprint recognition, vein pattern analysis, retinal scans, and more. On the other hand, behavioral verification refers to verifying an individual based on patterns in their behaviors. Common examples include gait analysis and keystroke analysis. Both of these procedures are deemed as less intrusive than physical biometric verification and are typically used for identifying fraudulent behaviors.
Let’s go through the prevalent biometric verification technologies one by one.
1. Face Biometrics
In face biometrics, also known as biometric facial authentication, the facial features of an individual are used for verifying their identity. For instance, banks in the U.S. and China scan the faces of their customers prior to authorizing a major money transfer, while corporate institutions use facial recognition as a biometric security system for keeping fraudsters at bay.
Apart from these, face biometrics are also used by educational institutions nowadays for conducting exams online. A major advantage of face biometrics is its ability to perform verification remotely, eliminating the need for physical contact.
2. Fingerprint Recognition
If you are in possession of a smartphone, you have probably experienced fingerprint recognition first-hand. In fingerprint biometrics, the distinct rings and patterns found in an individual’s fingertips are used for verifying their identity. Given that fingerprint patterns are unique to each individual, they serve as the perfect system for authentication whether the person is actually who they claim to be.
In terms of industries, fingerprint recognition is widely used by numerous sectors. These include retail stores, banks and other financial institutions, e-commerce sites, online gaming platforms, and more.
3. Retinal Scans
The latest sensation in biometrics has been iris or retinal pattern recognition. The convenience of this method is unmatched by the rest of biometric verification technologies. This is because the method has the advantages of both facial and fingerprint recognition.
To be precise, the retina pattern is analyzed in this method for the purpose of ID verification. Considering that the retina patterns of a person hardly ever change, this method of biometric verification is considered to be the most credible and reliable in the market today.
4. Voice Recognition
Voice recognition, or speech biometrics, is the science of using unique voice patterns of an individual for the purpose of verification. In simple terms, this method answers the question “who is speaking?”. During this process, the attributes that are analyzed include pronunciation, dialect or accent, speed of speech, emphasis, the shrill of the voice, and more. This method is typically used by banks during the online Know Your Customer (KYC) process, during which customers are asked to repeat a sentence or some numbers to get verified in real-time.
5. Gait Analysis
The human walk (gait) analysis is a biometric verification process that is commonly used by law enforcement agencies for detecting criminal identities. To verify a person through their walk, the stance and swinging movements are analyzed. For instance, if two people have varying heights, their walking movements would greatly differ. Similarly, if a criminal with a broken foot has to be detected, the walking movement can be recorded to accurately identify them. Two key benefits of this process are that this method of biometric verification does not require interaction and can be performed from a distance.
The Benefits of Biometric Verification
Regardless of the method of biometric verification, some benefits are common to all. The prevalent ones are listed below:
- They use AI and ML models for identifying patterns and behaviors
- Biometric verification is an automated process, thus provides verification results within a matter of seconds
- Identities can be verified in real-time
- Numerous biometric verification procedures eliminate the need for physical presence and human interaction, making the process more convenient
- Does not require additional capital investments after the biometric solution has been integrated
- Provides the highest level of security with an accuracy rate of 99.6%
- Biometric sensors are cost-efficient
- Since biometric data cannot be misplaced or forgotten, it is preferred over traditional passwords and PIN codes