Many mobile banking app users will tell you that the worst part of the experience happens right at the beginning. The laborious task of proving to the app that you are who you say you are. And yet these same users demand a high level of security from their mobile financial apps. This week it was announced that Google has solved this issue, not by simplifying the username and password setup, but by eliminating it altogether.
At Google’s recent I/O conference, developers were introduced to “Trust API” for Android devices, which will begin testing with several large financial institutions in June. According to the Guardian’s May 24th article, Trust API “aims to kill passwords not through one super-secure replacement, but by mixing together multiple weaker indicators into one solid piece of evidence that you are who you say you are.”
This technology will use various indicators to prove who you are, such as face shape, typing and movement patterns and voice patterns. It will run in the background of Androids, constantly verifying the identity of the user via these indicators. Google claims that this will “result in something more than 10 times as secure as a fingerprint.”
Wells Fargo is concurrently working on the elimination of usernames and passwords for its customers. In a San Francisco Bay Times article, Secil Watson, head of wholesale Internet solutions for the bank stated,
Our intention is that someday biometrics will eliminate passwords… In the next year, mobile business-banking customers will have their choice of authentication: they can choose between different biometrics or continue to use passwords and tokens.
And recently the Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO John Stumpf went even further, predicting that physical debit cards will also begin disappearing from consumer’s wallets as Wells Fargo begins rolling out its “card-less ATMs” this year. Bank of America is also set to convert 5,000 of its 16,000 ATMs to this new technology, which utilises digital wallet technology, according to another SF Bay Times article.