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Mobile Biometrics - Thumbs Up?

The premise of 2FA (two-factor authentication) is that it is based around:

  • Something the user has (eg a bank card);
  • Something the user knows (eg a PIN number or password).
This is the model used in Chip & PIN card payments, where the card holder inputs a 4 digit PIN after inserting the card into the POS terminal. If a customer needs to log in to his/her bank account or needs to purchase
physical goods online, he/she may be asked to enter the registered log-in ID and PIN along with a unique OTP (One Time Password) that is either sent to the customer via SMS by the bank/dealer, or generated by a
mobile app already installed on the device. At times, this step can be replaced by an automatic phone call to the customer’s mobile device, requesting confirmation to complete the transaction.

Where smartphones are used as access tools, the BYOT (Bring Your Own Token) variant can be employed, combining a personal log-in (user name and password) together with a passcode, which is sent to the end user in an app, email or SMS.