Digital Insight Announces Fingerprint ID for Android

Must Efficiency or Security Remain a Dilemma?

Does efficiency trump security with fingerprint login?

Digital Insight, acquired by NCR in 2013, announced today that Android Fingerprint ID would be incorporated into its mobile banking app in May.

This feature allows mobile banking users to authenticate with fingerprints on Android devices. JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s largest bank, will likewise introduce fingerprint authentication for Android devices later this month.

While fingerprint scanners may offer a more efficient way to access accounts via smartphones and tablets, as well as deliver cost savings, phone-based fingerprint ID security has a mixed history. Samsung’s early Galaxy S5, for example, was quickly proven to be hackable.

The impetus for the upgrade comes from a distaste for the cumbersome manual entry of username and password. Employing a fingerprint scanner at point-of-purchase, JPMorgan Chase’s mobile payments platform Chase Pay will make its way into 7,500 locations by mid-2016. Chase recently gave Bank Innovation an interactive demo of Chase Pay at its Manhattan headquarters. The bank is also soon to enable fingerprint logins on Android devices.

A major concern with fingerprint ID is the ease with which a fingerprint spoofer can trick fingerprint identification software. In 2014, Samsung released a fingerprint scanner for its Galaxy S5 that proved vulnerable to moderately committed hackers. The fact that an infinite number of login tries were allowed before prompted for a password — combined with a lack of prompt for re-verification upon restarting the phone — left much to be desired by way of security. While it may be that NCR has circumvented these login loopholes, only time will tell if their authentication process is impervious to such tricks.

Digital Insight plans to make Android Fingerprint ID available to all mobile banking clients in May 2016. The new interface allows bank customers and credit union members to login to their mobile banking application without entering traditional login credentials. Android Fingerprint ID is one of a variety of biometrics-driven authentication features Digital Insight platform delivers, including Apple Touch ID and EyeVerify’s EyePrint ID.

Android Fingerprint ID will be available on any device that runs Android 6.0 “Marshmallow” operating system, and has a fingerprint sensor that supports Android Fingerprint API. Of the release, and other login tech, Dan Weis of Digital Insight voiced enthusiasm:

Biometrics offer a compelling feature for mobile banking applications, driving benefits for the end user as well as the financial institution […] We believe that consumers will want varying types of biometrics based on factors such as personal preference, their finger dexterity, their device preference, and even how they are dressed.  Our introduction of Android Fingerprint Scan furthers our commitment to biometric authentication and continued top-of-the-line performance of the Digital Insight mobile banking app.

The first bank to institute this technology from Digital Insight will be Cambridge State Bank in Cambridge, Minn.

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