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09.11.17

BioConnect on Where to Start with Biometrics Investment

Ahead of FinovateFall’s kickoff in New York today, Paybefore spoke with BioConnect Chief Identity Officer Bianca Lopes about all the biometrics buzz in payments and the financial services industry. Her advice to companies looking to invest in biometrics: Don’t forget about the users.

“Start with an identity strategy first and really understand the user flow,” she recommends. “How many times are you asking your poor customers to verify themselves?”

BioConnect is a platform technology that helps businesses combine technology from other vendors and translate it into “one single language.” In other words, it doesn’t matter if you want to use retina scans, voice or fingerprints or some other biometric marker. The company took the platform approach to avoid being “handcuffed to a specific technology,” Lopes notes.

“Things are changing so quickly. If you’re basing your authentication method on a specific type of hardware, you’re already eliminating part of the market. If you’re a large FI, you need interoperability,” she says.

BioConnect, which is based in Toronto and recently was named to the CIX Top 20, uses a standard software development kit for Android and iOS native apps that can be integrated within a week, along with a back-end set of APIs for banks. The longest part of any integration tends to be scalability testing for legacy systems, which can take three to six months, Lopes notes.

While she acknowledges that the use of biometrics has significant potential for verifying customers from initial onboarding throughout the life cycle, she says its implications go way beyond the convenience factor of throwing out the cumbersome username-and-password paradigm. To get there, Lopes sees education as a critical component for adoption and building consumer trust. One of the biggest misconceptions, she notes, is that someone is storing your face or your fingerprint somewhere.

“The tech is super cool, but it’s supposed to be about the humans using it,” she says. “You better put your humans first.”

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