Industries across the world have had to relook their daily operations and strategies with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The retail banking industry was no different. Retail banks have seen major setbacks due to the pandemic, where physical locations have been shut down, staff removed temporarily and services suspended. As a result, a lot of banks have seen major reductions in operating profit. In many situations, staff has been permanently fired and locations permanently shut down.
Consequently, the banking domain has come under pressure to transfer as many services as possible to a virtual platform and speed up their digital transformation process. The key role within the retail banking domain is onboarding new clients, which often requires customers to visit the bank branch physically multiple times.
One of the new mandatory requirements requires banks to completely redesign their physical locations to implement social distancing while identifying possibly infected employees or clients. Most banks are now considering ways to implement digital identities to onboard clients and hold virtual meetings.
The primary goal of the digital marketing process for banks today is offering the maximum number of services possible on a virtual platform online, including onboarding, KYC, and other formalities.
Impact of Covid-19 on the Biometric Market
The biometrics domain and related identity authentication system tools around the world are still evolving, mainly because of the use-case development of biometrics and the switch to multiple biometric mechanisms across behavioral and physiological factors. To add to this, the Covid-19 outbreak and the consequent changes in customer behavior leaning towards multiple identity authentication types will ensure the market keeps growing consistently. Reports show that the global spending on biometrics in 2025 will hit about $14.12 billion.
The identity authentication system market has evolved past physical readers or scanners that provide control or access. Biometric solutions today need several new functions and features that are in line with the security demands of today. This entails the following:
- Multi-factor authentication with various identity factors
- Integrating access control solutions, systems for time management, security centres and other systems designed to create robust resources for customer and employee identity verification.
- Integrating digital identity solutions that extend beyond traditional use-cases for user onboarding, access control and verification.
- Biometrics as a Service, Identity as a Service and other new business and service models.
Obstructions, Opportunities, and Outcomes
Questions related to privacy have been critical in obstructing the widespread adoption of facial recognition technology. However, using a structured plan for regulation compliance is looking to increase the adoption of facial biometric technology. Stopping the spread of the virus is a top priority for all industries presently, outweighing the possible risks and uncertainties that individual privacy faces with this technology.
Fingerprinting biometric technology is one of the most commonly used renditions of the identity management system and has been adopted globally in the past 20 years. However, the use of fingerprinting is going to reduce significantly at shared touchpoints as businesses shift to contactless technologies like behavioural or facial recognition technologies. This does not mean that the use of fingerprint technology will stop. It will still be used in personal devices like mobile phones as well as private residential frameworks to be used by smaller groups like families or households.
Facial recognition combined with thermal sensing is set to grow in the coming years, owing to its contactless nature and ability to sense temperature and personal identity. This technology can help to significantly mitigate the risks of the virus spreading, which adds value to companies by solving multiple problems with one solution.
The number of businesses adopting a contactless identity recognition system will increase in the post-Covid world. This new normal is set to accelerate the implementation of biometric technology as economies recover.