Tangerine is enabling banking customer to use the fingerprint scanner on iPhones as an additional factor of authentication to access their accounts on the mobile devices and will introduce voice biometrics later this year.
Customers will have the option of using Touch ID in addition to the user name and password when accessing account information from the iPhones that have Touch ID, says Charaka Kithulegoda, CIO at Tangerine. This isn’t the banks first look at biometrics.
In the 2000, Tangerine – previously ING Direct – had worked on developing a mouse with a fingerprint scanner embedded in it, Kithulegoda says. While the technology worked, getting it up and running wasn’t an easy task. “Depending on the operating system and other factors getting it up and running wasn’t easy,” he explains. “It was a cumbersome user experience.”
With fingerprint deployed for some customers and voice biometrics expected to be rolled out soon for others, Tangerine expects biometrics to play a serious role in authentication. “We’ve always believed that biometrics is a powerful authentication and verification mechanism,” Kithulegoda adds.
The voice biometrics will have customers entering a user name and password as well as speaking a phrase for access, Kithulegoda says. It’s possible that the biometric authentication might eventually replace the user name and password but Tangerine wants to get customers familiar with the technology first.
The banks recently introduced voice banking so users can interact with Tangerine’s Mobile Banking app through a conversational interface that answers questions and provides information. Queries can be as simple as inquiring about account balances, to more complex questions and commands like how much was spent at a specific location, or instructions to send Email Money Transfers or pay a bill. Working with software provider Nuance Communications, Tangerine is the first bank in Canada to offer a voice-controlled mobile app. Voice Banking functionality will be available to clients with mobile devices running iOS 6 and above.