Biometric Authentication Could Have Prevented Wells Fargo Fraud

biometric auth

For those of us who work in fintech the news of the Wells Fargo fraud is disappointing but not really surprising. We have known for a long time that security systems, policies and execution within financial institutions simply isn’t at the level it needs to be to protect customers and the banks themselves.

Wells Fargo customers could have been protected through the application of biometric authentication in new account openings. The implementation of a facial recognition solution like Ver-ID Credentials, or other solutions that are readily available today, would require that any new accounts include a time-stamped, live photo of the customer opening the account as well as some form of government issued photo ID. This would then be matched against the customer’s registered faceprint. If there’s no match the account cannot be opened. With this simple addition to the onboarding process Wells Fargo employees wouldn’t have been able to open new accounts without the customer’s active participation.

The cost of implementing biometric authentication is a fraction of what Wells Fargo has lost materially, not to mention the damage that has been done to their reputation as a trusted provider. Today’s face recognition and authentication technologies have the potential to significantly increase the security of banking institutions and their customers. How many more millions have to be lost and how much consumer faith will be left before the banking industry finally takes the steps necessary to ensure a higher level of security for us all?

Don Waugh

CEO and Co-Founder of Applied Recognition

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