The bank integrated fingerprint biometrics capability through Entersekt’s multi-factor authentication and app security product, Transakt, providing a seamless, one-touch authentication experience leveraging Touch ID. The result is a more convenient process with added security. Registered customers can now log into the app on their iPhone by simply scanning their fingerprint instead of inputting a password.
“We are thrilled to partner with Entersekt to provide Touch ID enabled service for customers,” said Jim Reuter, COO at FirstBank in a press release. “This will make mobile banking more convenient without compromising security, which is the utmost importance to us. FirstBank is continually investing in the best technology advancements, so our customers can bank from anywhere and know their information is protected.” The bank plans to extend biometrics capabilities to its Android app in the foreseeable future.
While in Dubai on business, the Nolte brothers, Dewald (co-founder and SVP Partnerships and Alliances at Entersekt) and Schalk (CEO), who were selected a year ago, had these things to say on the launch.
FirstBank selected Transakt to supplement the security of its mobile banking application in February this year. Comment on your work with the client – was this a once-off project or is it ongoing, and if the latter, what are the next steps?
Dewald: Working with FirstBank has been a great experience. We learnt a lot about how the technology is positioned in the US market versus other territories where we have clients. Aside from confirming the bank’s commitment to extending use of Transakt to cover Android fingerprint readers, we are not able to comment on future projects with this client. FirstBank is an innovative bank, and we hope to enable more digital functionality in partnership with them.
Describe the user experience, i.e. talk us through the steps the bank’s customers have to go through to make a payment, for instance, using the updated app?
Schalk: FirstBank’s primary objective in implementing Touch ID was to improve the user experience, which is enormously important to North American financial institutions. The success of a mobile banking app in that market rides on usability. FirstBank’s iOS app users are the first to benefit from the use of biometrics. Instead of having to type in a password every time their customers want to log into the app, they simply place their finger on the Touch ID reader.
Biometrics helps users get the job done faster, but its use alone is no answer to digital banking fraud. Where Entersekt’s technology plays a role is in making sure that the security behind the scenes is water tight. Entersekt has spent years ensuring that our security is not only best-in-class, but makes transacting easier and more convenient for consumers.
Comment on the challenge of balancing convenience and security. Why is one-touch authentication a win-win?
Schalk: Security and convenience have long been seen to stand in opposition to each other; prioritise one and the other must suffer, or so the thinking went. Banks have often compromised on the user experience in order to secure accounts (think physical tokens, card readers or time-sensitive codes you have to enter).
Something we are especially proud of at Entersekt is how we have combined banking-grade app security – exceeding the requirements of regulators around the world – while making life easier for everyday people through one-touch authentication.
Fingerprint biometrics is the latest trend in mobile banking. What do you foresee being the next big thing in authentication and mobile security?
Dewald: The place mobile holds in our daily lives will continue to grow at pace. The trend in our industry is towards ‘phone-as-a-token’, which means that the mobile device will increasingly serve as the personal authentication device. With multi-factor authentication generally defined as a combination of ‘something you have’, ‘something you know’ and/or ‘something you are’, the mobile phone ticks the ‘something you have’ box while biometrics can cover the latter. Other forms of biometrics are ripe for the mass market (voice, facial recognition, behavioural biometrics), but the ‘something you have’ will be firmly centred on the mobile in future.
What is the best advice you’ve received from an Endeavor mentor in the last while, and how have you applied this to your business and your dealings with FirstBank?
Dewald: Two pieces of advice stand out:
- - When you sell, be bold about your product. If you are humble about what you have to offer, it comes across as being doubtful about it. You have a proven track record. You have a license to be bold.
- - A successful sale is about getting in front of the right person at the right time. Use your network to navigate your way through the organisation to the right people. You could waste months at a time and end in failure, when all it took was one call to the right person.
For more info, go to Entersekt.com.