Does Biometrics Start a New Era in Mobile Banking?

Revolution with the touch of a finger

One of the biggest banks in Poland - mBank - has recently launched biometrics in its mBank Company Mobile application. So far dedicated to corporate customers, but it is clearly a milestone in the expansion of biometrics in Poland.

How it looks like in Poland?

Biometrics is gaining more and more popularity in the financial sector worldwide. What is it exactly? All the means that enable customers’ identification by evaluating distinguishing biological trait/s in order to log in to the application. Polish banks offer two kinds of biometrics: fingerprints and voice recognition. Voice authentication is offered by Meritum Bank and Smart Bank. Fingerprints recognition is available in mBank, Millenium Bank, Meritum Bank and ING Bank Śląski applications. Other banks also keep on preparing to implement the innovations. It seems to be an absolute must have in the near future, especially taking into consideration how mobile banking is getting popular in Poland: only in the Netherlands (58%), Great Britain (49%) and Spain (45%) there are more bank applications’ users than in Poland (43%)[i].

- The attractiveness of biometrics in Poland constantly increases. 64% of all our corporate customers already use a smartphone equipped with a system that enables to log in by a finger. We have has decided to introduce this method, as it guarantees the highest level of security and convenience while logging in via mobile device – says Marcin Gierlicz from mBank Transaction Banking Department.

Pros and…cons?

The technology is claimed to be the most comfortable method. Mobile users don’t have to remember the numbers, codes or passwords. The only thing we have to do is put the finger on the smartphone or say a short phrase to the speaker. It is worth mentioning that almost half of Internet users in Poland (47%) feel tired of remembering all the passwords[ii].

Biometrics log in is not only quick and easy, but also extremely secure. It is impossible to falsify the original and specific touch or sound. There are special technologies which analyze even the fractional differences.

*Biometrics in banking - from Unbanked to Lifelong Customer – CROSSMATCH’s report, January 2014.

As far only few Polish banks adapted biometrics solution. Additionally, mBank and ING Bank Śląski’s applications are available only for corporate customers so far. What is more, this technology can be used just in couple of the most advanced smartphones on the market. Nevertheless, it doesn’t change the fact that biometrics is a revolutionary step forward as a core of Banking 3.0.

Why biometrics?

Biometrics is one of the most interesting new trends in modern banking. It seems to be a milestone when considering the future of mobile applications. If banks desire to remain competitive, they should anticipate customers’ expectations and needs. However, the key idea is to combine innovations with taking care of clients’ convenience and payments’ safety.

[i] IPSOS report for the ING, conducted on 15 000 respondents from Europe, USA and Australia, 12.10.2015

[ii] TNS Polska’s report for the Nuance Communications, conducted on 1000 Internet users, 13.01.2015