The more I think about mobile as an authentication tool, the more attractive it becomes.
First you can geolocate customers using mobile. XYVerify does this using telco masts, rather than mobile devices, as it can then use an independent verification mechanism to determine whether you really have you phone with you. This is the sort of tool that we are already seeing being used in some locations for determining if the customer at the ATM really is the customer, by checking they have their mobile with them.
Second, you can authenticate who the customer is interactively using One Time Passwords (OTP) by text messaging. Again, used by some banks, an interactive text or app based OTP process means that the mobile can offer a great second level authentication tool.
Third, you can check it’s really who you think it is using mobile biometrics, and this is the biggest growth area.
A while ago, Bank Intesa in Spain was using mobile apps for iris recognition. Nick Ogden, the founder of WorldPay, has created Voice Commerce to offer voice verification by mobile. Apple has launched the iPhone 5S and 5C with mobile fingerprint authentication. Meanwhile, my favourite authentication is Nymi by Biomix, a watchstrap that uses your heartbeat as verification.
The reason the latter is my favourite is that mobile is rapidly moving from devices to wearable, and so we will soon have mobile chips embedded in jewellery, watches, handbags, shoes and fashion times. Yes, it’s back to the internet of things, but it goes beyond the internet of things to the knowledge of everything.
Intellisensing and locating customers and verifying and authenticating them through the internet of things will become the norm.
It will be the case of knowing who is where doing what in real-time, and being able to check it is who you think it is without forcing an action – a token or PIN being activated – but by sensing it who you think it is through the network.
We are very near to this today and getting nearer every day, so let’s stop worrying about fraud and risk with mobiles and start thinking far more about fraud and risk minimisation with mobiles.
That’s far more constructive and creative.