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Biometrics Becoming Mainstream on Mobile Apps

Commercial customers want more mobile services; the trick is to make them secure and easy enough to use

Commercial bankers are keen to reduce the effort their customers must expend in doing business with them, and one way to do so is to offer more commercial banking services on the go via mobile devices.

Up to 75% of commercial banks already have mobile corporate banking, with another 17% currently working on an offering, according to CEB data.

Senior executives in CEB’s network of commercial bankers say are investing in mobile to match competitors’ capabilities, improve customer service and experience, and improve acquisition of new customers. In fact 67% of managers say they expect to increase investment in mobile capabilities in the next 12 months, and expect a lot from those investments (see chart 1).

Most important enhancements expected from investment in a mobile strategy

Chart 1: Most important enhancements expected from investment in a mobile strategy  Percentage of commercial banking respondents (they were asked to select two); n=123  Source: CEB Technology Adoption and Investment Survey

The Problem is Security

The catch however is to make these mobile services secure, especially in commercial banking where the sums of money are often so much larger, and to do so without making it nigh on impossible for customers to access the bank’s services.

Commercial banking customers want mobile banking to make their lives easier. But today’s experience limits the types and size of transactions and/or involves a token and using a touchscreen to enter a “secure” password, which has to include more than nine characters, with at least one *, &, or !. That’s not the experience customers are looking for.


Wells Fargo announced last year that will pilot mobile corporate banking applications that use biometric technology in a bid make them easy-to-use and secure. The bank will use voice recognition, face recognition, and iris recognition technology to get “customers to feel safe doing serious banking online,” according to Forbes.

The aim of Wells Fargo and their competitors is to give customers the same services they can access from the desk in their office but with the same or better security. For example, for banks and their commercial clients payments fraud is a major and growing concern. As a result, more senior executives want final sign-off on high value transactions.

Providing executives the ability to track and approve high dollar payments, securely and conveniently, from wherever they are, will make life easier for everyone.


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