Workers’ Credit Union in North Central Massachusetts is using DigitalPersona Inc. U.are.U 4500 Fingerprint Readers to authenticate employee identities.
With 15 branches across the state, WCU’s 240 employees now use DigitalPersona biometrics-based technology to confirm identity when accessing online applications and websites. WCU selected the DigitalPersona solution to increase its security, eliminate password resets and improve employee workflow.
This solution is suited for credit unions and community banks that require password-based authentication to access financial information. Passwords can be shared, creating the potential for fraud. They can also be stored on paper and left in the open for others to misuse. If an employee misplaces or forgets their password — which commonly occurs since passwords must be long and changed frequently to meet industry security standards — calls for password resets distract IT personnel from more critical business-driven activities.
WCU considered software to automate password resets, but ultimately determined that implementing biometrics-based technology would be easier for both its employees and back office administrative staff. With the DigitalPersona solution, WCU employees simply touch the fingerprint reader to gain access to online applications and websites.
WCU employees have recovered two to three percent of their time that used to be lost to remembering and keying in passwords. In turn, the credit union’s IT help desk has gained two to three percent of its time back since they no longer have to contend with password resets. The solution has also helped streamline WCU’s member services. Members no longer have to wait for the help desk to reissue an employee’s password before receiving assistance.
With the success of biometrics for logical access to online applications and websites, WCU is planning to expand its use of biometrics-based technology for physical access to its buildings and networks.
Another potential use of the technology for credit unions and community banks is confirming the identities of the “unbanked” — those who currently lack the proper identification credentials required to secure an account.