Adam Fagen Bank of America bunting

Bank of America, Samsung Testing Iris Scan Authentication

August 11, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

Biometric security systems—that is, security systems that depend upon the unique intricacies of the human body like fingerprints, voice prints, or the like—have gained a lot of ground lately as a highly secure yet easy to use form of authentication. Recently, Bank of America made some real strides on this front by bringing in Samsung Electronics to start a pilot program using iris-scanning technology to access mobile banking functions.

It’s still in the very earliest stages, so don’t look for it to hit the market any time soon. Right now, reports note, the trial is being staged as a way to see how customers react to using different kinds of biometric authentication protocols.

Michelle Moore, Bank of America’s head of digital banking, noted “It’s really around who you are, the Bank of America customer, what is your digital ID; and no matter which channel you choose to interact with us, you can use that identity to authenticate and let us know you are who you say you are.”

The pilot plan so far is strictly in house, running six weeks and working with 1,500 Bank of America and Samsung employees. Bank of America’s choice to hook up with Samsung on this is perfectly reasonable; around a third—30 to 35 percent—of Bank of America customers are said to own Samsung phones already.

Since there are several different varieties to work with, it’s reasonable enough to suggest that customers would have differing responses to these subclasses of biometrics. After all, people would probably find fingerprint analysis a lot less invasive than iris scans, but might find fingerprint analysis too much like getting booked at the police station for their tastes. It’s also worth noting several key issues like which system is more likely to make a user want to log into their accounts.

It’s good to see that Bank of America is taking the time to find the right form of biometrics operations for its users instead of just rolling out a one-size-fits-most-we-hope-please-don’t-leave-if-it-doesn’t solution. With plenty of options to choose from, this pilot program should generate the right amount of information  to put the best program in place and give people the fastest, easiest, and safest way to access their accounts.