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Technology moves fast in today’s world,and biometrics is no exception. What was once considered the realm of science fiction has fast become reality. Biometrics is now a part of our daily lives.

It started with our smartphones. With roughly 2 billion smart phones in use around the world, companies like Apple and Samsung have been using fingerprint and facial recognition technologies for a number of years as a way of unlocking our phones. In airports it’s becoming commonplace to skip the customs queue and use facial recognition when entering and exiting a country.

But there are many more ways that biometrics will begin to bring further positive change to our lives.

Revolutionising banking

For the consumer, biometrics will change banking in many ways. Carrying a bankcard for use at an automated teller machine (ATM), for example, will become a thing of the past for cash transactions as fingerprint biometry becomes your way of access. It will also change your interaction within the bank, as biometric technology makes it easier for our financial institutions to recognise who we are as we enter a branch and allows for a more tailored customer approach.

For the banking industry, the improvement that comes with biometrics is huge. As financial institutions employ a Know Your Customer (KYC) framework, they are able to reap enormous efficiencies around operations. For example, using biometrics as a part of the KYC strategy can help reduce money laundering. Financial institutions will also use biometrics for a range of customer-facing transactions, with even the possibility of using technology like videoconferencing and biometrics together.

Banks will also benefit across a range of back-end processes where certainty of identity is required. For example, biometrics can improve the way financial transactions are authorised, and identity is verified for complex transactions, such as loan applications.

Secure building access

The days of carrying around an ID card at work will soon be over and already are for many workers. Biometrics are replacing standard RFID card access with employee fingerprints. Employees, visitors and contractors can be provided access to sites and zones by presenting themselves, saving time, money and manual handling through self-serviced kiosks.

For industries such as manufacturing, secure access is absolutely crucial. Biometrics can ensure the integrity of production lines, allowing access to only those who are authorised to do so. Reporting and audit capability is also improved, with the ability to integrate data into your existing ERP, WH&S and HR systems.

For industries such as childcare, access to a facility is also a challenge that all centres must face. Again, biometrics can provide an additional level of control, allowing only authorised parents and guardians access to a facility. A strong biometric platform can also provide reporting capabilities, linking directly with systems such as a Child Care Management System (CCMS), to ensure compliance reporting, such as the staff to child ratio, is automated.

Changing the face of retail

Retail is another area where biometrics is having an impact. Like other industries, the application of this technology can apply to so many areas of a retail operation.

Managing stock shrinkage is a huge challenge, costing $123.39bn USD to retailers in the USA alone. Using biometrics, retailers can provide an additional layer of capability, ensuring that access to stock by staff is restricted to those who require it. It also has applications in store, as a deterrent to customer theft.

Biometrics will also change the experience for the consumer. Using a modality such as facial recognition, retailers can identify repeat customers as they enter the store, alerting staff that a valued customer has arrived. It can also allow retailers in high-end goods, such as fashion, to showcase products to a customer once they arrive at a store, a level of personalisation not yet seen. There’s even the opportunity to use biometrics as a payment method, with retailers such as Amazon Go in the USA and KFC in China trialling biometric payment options.

Whatever the industry, it’s becoming clear that by placing identity at the centre of your organisation you can provide reduced risk, improved processes, decreased costs, and an enhanced customer experience.

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