Connect with us

Technology

SCANNING THE HORIZON: EMERGING MARKETS IN BIOMETRICS

By David Orme, SVP, IDEX Biometrics ASA

 

By 2023, the global biometrics market is predicted to grow by more than 15%, to over $24 billion. Yet, despite many of today’s most commonly-adopted biometric technologies stemming from Silicon Valley, such as Apple’s Touch ID, only 30% of that growth market will come from North America. So, if it is no longer just North America where consumers are rapidly embracing the security of biometric authentication, where else in the world is the growth of the sector coming from? Surprisingly, much of this progress is taking place in emerging markets such as Latin America, Africa and Asia. Recent developments in these regions have shown they can rapidly incorporate biometric technology into country-wide banking, government IDs and retail programmes, without being held back by legacy technology and systems which have delayed wider biometric adoption across Europe and North America.

 

Disrupting the Asian retail market with a smile

According to a Technavio report, 36% of the global biometrics market growth will come from the Asia Pacific region. In this region, China is already ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to biometric-authorised payments. In fact, it’s being adopted so quickly that cash is fast becoming obsolete in urban China, where the mobile payments market is worth around $12.8 trillion, led by fingerprint-to-pay apps, roughly 50 times the value of the mobile payment market in the USA.

 

AliPay, China’s biggest payment app, from e-commerce giant Alibaba, has 870 million registered users on its fingerprint-to-pay service. The brand even recently launched a trial ‘smile-to-pay’ feature at a branch of KFC in Southern China, which uses facial recognition to identify the customer at a self-order terminal and automatically charges them via the payment app – meaning the store has no cashiers, no tills and near-instant order collection.

 

Futuristic biometric payment methods like this are increasingly disrupting the retail industry across Asia. Korea too is using biometric authentication to make the shopping experience faster and more convenient. Recently, a Seoul convenience store became the first in the world to have customers pay with a hand scan. This palm vein authentication self-checkout facilityfeatures an emerging biometric technology which scans the veins of a user’s hand to identify registered shoppers and requests payment from their account. Thailand is also incorporating biometrics into the shopping experience, with facial recognition at 7-Eleven stores identifying loyalty members, analysing in-store traffic and suggesting new products to customers.

 

It’s not just in retail where Asia is proving to be a leader of biometric adoption. India has launched the Aadhaar programme, the largest biometric-backed national identity scheme in the world. With this scheme, over a billion citizens will receive a unique 12-digit ID number, supported by fingerprint and iris data, which gives them secure access to welfare schemes and government services.

 

Developing government IDs in developing markets

However, while Asia may be leading the charge in biometric growth, it’s far from the only region where these technologies are transforming day-to-day activities. Across Africa, the national ID market is also maturing rapidly thanks to biometric data. Fingerprint and iris authentication methods are helping to synchronise the data from expansive populations while providing easier access to public services.

 

In Kenya, fingerprint authorisation has sped up the largest population registration programme in Africa. Its national ID project,Huduma Namba, has provided the government with a comprehensive central population database, leading to it being called “the single source of truth on a person’s identity”. Kenyans will be provided with a single fingerprint-backed ID card, for access to healthcare, to get a driving license, pay taxes, enrol in a public school, or even request access to the electricity grid.

 

Fingerprint scanning technology is also being used to empower farmers in Nigeria, where the ‘Anchor Borrowers Programme’, an agricultural subsidy, is now distributed via biometric ID cards. The digitisation of the scheme has seen all farmlands mapped to their owner’s biometric information. This has increased the efficiency of fund distribution while eliminating so-called ‘ghost-farmers’ from the database.

 

Latin America also sees the value in national biometric databases. Brazil’s electoral commission intends to register over 140 million Brazilians by the 2020 rollout of its biometric ID smartphone app, which it anticipates will reduce the risk of voter and benefit fraud. Residents, meanwhile, will be able to use the app to claim social security, and eventually integrate all ID documents into one app. Similar schemes are also underway in nearby Mexico, where the Sonora State Government recently adopted fingerprint authorised pre-payment cards to deliver benefit services.

 

The race for global adoption

Despite this growth in emerging markets, Europe and North America aren’t lagging behind in the race for global biometric adoption. In Europe, fingerprint recognition remains the dominant biometric growth sector and is expected to be worth $11.5 billion by 2023.

 

This growth is largely due to advances in security driving the demand for identification and payment methods secured by biometrics. Progress is fast emerging in the physical payment sector and, according to ABI Research, the biometric payment cards market is expected to see significant growth in Europe by 2021.

 

This year, credit card companies and banks across Europe – including Bank of Scotland and Société Générale – have already embraced the opportunity to trial fingerprint-embedded payment cards to provide their customers with greater payment security. Fingerprint authentication technology will reduce the risk of card fraud as the owner must scan their thumb or finger in order to authorise transactions. Banking with your fingerprint is on the rise in the Middle East too, where Emirates NBD bank has launched an automated banking terminal to open new accounts authorised by biometric signatures.

 

Over in the USA, they are already developing the next wave of ground-breaking biometric technology. The ‘behaviometrics’ market, which includes methods such as keystroke and gait analysis, is expected to contribute to more than one-third of the total American biometrics market and dominate industry growth until at least 2025. This emerging technology, which can monitor unconscious movements and gestures, is seen as a promising, unobtrusive method of multi-factor authentication, when paired with more traditional and secure methods, such as fingerprint recognition.

 

As more markets across the world move to a password and PIN-free future, supported by biometric technology, continued awareness of security measures is vital. Recent research from the European Payments Council shows fingerprint scanning still has the greatest customer adoption potential for biometric authentication. But alongside this positive attitude towards fingerprint authentication, for biometric programmes to continue to global expansion, consumers must be assured that their data is secure.

 

Fingerprint authentication increases this sense of security among consumers. With fingerprints, only certain data points, not the full fingerprint image, are stored on the payment or ID card itself, meaning biometric data doesn’t leave the card. This will inspire trust in new consumers from emerging markets so that biometrics can continue to enhance security and make lives easier in all regions, risk-free. Biometric tech providers must educate manufacturers and consumers on these security issues in order to drive adoption beyond North America and across the globe.

 

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Finance

THE OUTPERFORMER’S APPROACH TO FINANCIAL PROCESS AUTOMATION

By Michelle Trapani, Director of Product Marketing at Kofax

 

Achieving more with less is the mantra of our times. C-suite leaders demand greater efficiency. CFOs are looking to reduce costs. Customers and employees expect stellar experiences. The ability to outperform these expectations hinges on your financial operations, a vital area impacting every facet of your business.

For instance, if vital master data is incorrect, it’ll have a negative impact on service level quality, as well as the reputations of the finance and purchasing departments. Without accurate and timely visibility into processes, transparency is reduced, and it’s more difficult and time-consuming to manage compliance. The combination makes it harder to please executives, CFOs, customers, and vendors.

That’s why financial process automation is the key to operational efficiency and the overall success of your business. Even small- and medium-sized businesses are investing in process automation to optimise the financial processes within enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, such as SAP.

For many, accounts payable is the first financial process to be automated. Like many other financial areas, Accounts Payable (AP) is mired in paper and consumed by highly manual tasks. For these reasons, once AP is automated, the benefits become quickly apparent, leading firms to immediately consider which other financial processes they can optimise. However, outperformers know the approach that yields the greatest return is automation of the entire purchase-to-pay process chain.

Why? Let’s consider what benefits can be gained from automating document-driven and transactional processes tied to an SAP ERP system – in AP and beyond.

 

Why a high-level of automation is an advantage

We don’t have to look far to see how end-to-end automation eliminates labour-intensive work, reduces costs, and increases process efficiency. Organisations with high levels of automation provide indisputable proof of the advantages of the outperformers’ approach.

According to research by Shared Services Link and Kofax, just 12 percent of organisations with high levels of automation manually process their invoices compared to 74 percent of those with low levels of automation. In addition, only 41 percent of highly automated companies experience problems with purchase orders, 24 percent have poor visibility into spend, and 8 percent fail to capture early payment discounts. By comparison, those with low-level automation report these same problems significantly more often: 68 percent, 23 percent, and 24 percent, respectively.

In an age when process automation has become table stakes, there are clear advantages for organisations that optimise processes across the business. “Best-in-class” firms – those with high levels of automation – don’t only become more competitive, they save time and resources as well.

Comparing “best-in-class” organisations to others illustrates the sharp differences. According to Ardent Partners, a “best-in-class” organisation processes 57.1 percent of all invoices “straight-through,” in just 3.9 days at an all-inclusive cost of $2.87 per invoice. By contrast, the gap with other organisations – those with low levels of automation – is wide: Only 16.1 percent of invoices are processed straight-through, and a single invoice takes 17.1 days to close and costs $15.38. Further, “best-in-class” organisations experience 81 percent lower invoice processing costs and 77 percent faster invoice processing cycle times.

 

Why ERP optimisation?

Another reason to follow the outperformers’ approach is to increase the return on investment of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Many organisations haven’t fully leveraged their investments in ERP software, like SAP, giving them plenty of hidden opportunities to exploit.

“ERPs are not optimised for all the complex activities occurring today, such as matching printed or electronic invoices with supplier master data, purchase orders, shipping, tax and discount data,” says consultancy The Hackett Group. “Since it can be cost-prohibitive to replace a legacy ERP, companies often augment them instead with document management systems.”

When processes are paper-driven and manual, financial teams struggle to meet the volume-based performance requirements set by their CFOs. Meeting the high bar for raw numbers of invoices and payments processed is exceedingly difficult without automation. Think back to the pain points listed above. Every time the process is interrupted because the PO number is wrong, there’s an invoice exception or an early pay discount is missed, the process slows appreciably – or breaks down entirely.

One option is to use a certified add-on solution providing a single software platform to automate a series of processes directly within the ERP system. For SAP users, this type of solution offers more than integration with the ERP system; it provides the exact same look and feel as any other SAP transaction. It can be presented inside of the SAP GUI, providing non-SAP users an intuitive interface, and offering a real-time view of workloads, pending tasks, document inflow, ongoing transactions, and up-to-the-moment validation against SAP data. Solutions like this are proven to help users become more cost efficient, improve control over financial processes and shorten total processing times.

 

How to dominate your financial process

As the examples above show, expanding process improvement from AP to the entire purchase-to-pay process chain allows you dominate your financial processes in SAP, realise maximum efficiency and take your current ROI to the next level. Whether you’re just starting your automation journey or want to expand past AP, a full-scale strategy for end-to-end financial process automation will enable you to begin working like tomorrow, today.

 

About the author

In her role as Director of Product Marketing, Michelle Trapani delivers market positioning, strategic narratives and go-to-market strategies driving awareness, preference, and growth – bringing an increased level of insight, leadership, and overall execution discipline to Kofax’s growing business. Michelle was most recently with Cinch Connectivity Solutions where she reduced product launch times from eight months to eight-12 weeks. Previously, Michelle was with Adobe, Equinix, IBM, Infogix, iPass, Macrovision and Vision Solutions. Michelle earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Illinois State University.

Continue Reading

Technology

WHY TECHNOLOGY IS KEY TO THE FUTURE OF AUDITING

By Piers Wilson, Head of Product Management at Huntsman Security

 

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC), which is responsible for corporate governance, reporting and auditing in the UK, has been consulting on the role of technology in audit processes. This highlights growing recognition for the fact that technology can assist audits, providing the ability to automate data gathering or assessment to increase quality, remove subjectivity and make the process more trustworthy and consistent. Both the Brydon review and the latest AQR thematic suggest a link between enhanced audit quality and the increasing use of technology. This goes beyond efficiency gains from process automation and relates, in part, to the larger volume of data and evidence which can be extracted from an audited entity and the sophistication of the tools available to interrogate it.

As one example, the PCAOB in the US has for a while advocated for the provision of audit evidence and reports to be timely (which implies computerisation and automation) to assure that risks are being managed, and for the extent of human interaction with evidence or source data to be reflected to ensure influence is minimised (the more that can be achieved programmatically and objectively the better).

However, technology may obscure the nature of analysis and decision making and create a barrier to fully transparent audits compared to more manual (yet labour intensive) processes. There is also a competition aspect between larger firms and smaller ones as regards access to technology:

Brydon raised concerns about the ability of challenger firms to keep pace with the Big Four firms in the deployment of innovative new technology.

The FRC consultation paper covers issues, and asks questions, in a number of areas. Examples include:

  • The use of AI and machine learning that collect or analyse evidence and due to the continual learning nature, their criteria for assessment may be difficult to establish or could change over time.
  • The data issues around greater access to networks and systems putting information at risk (e.g. under GDPR) or a reluctance for audited companies to allow audit firms to connect or install software/technologies into their live environments.
  • The nature of technology may mean it is harder for auditors to understand or establish the nature of data collection, analysis or decision making.
  • The ongoing need to train auditors on technologies that might be introduced, so they can utilise them in a way that generates trusted outputs.

Clearly these are real issues – for a process that aims to provide trustworthy, objective, transparent and repeatable outputs – any use of technology to speed up or improve the process must maintain these standards.

 

Audit technology solutions in cyber security

The cyber security realm has grown to quickly become a major area of risk and hence a focus for boards, technologists and auditors alike. The highly technical nature of threats and the adversarial nature of cybers attackers (who will actively try and find/exploit control failures) means that technology solutions that identify weaknesses and report on specific or overall vulnerabilities are becoming more entrenched in the assurance process within this discipline.

While the audit consultations and reports mentioned above cover the wider audit spectrum, similar challenges relate to cyber security as an inherently technology-focussed area of operation.

 

Benefits of speed

The gains from using technology to conduct data gathering, analysis and reporting are obvious – removing the need for human questionnaires, interviews, inspections and manual number crunching. Increasing the speed of the process has a number of benefits:

  • You can cover larger scopes or bigger samples (even avoid sampling all together)
  • You can conduct audit/assurance activities more often (weekly instead of annually)
  • You can scale your approach beyond one part of the business to encompass multiple business units or even third parties
  • You get answers more quickly – which for things that change continually (like patching status) means same day awareness rather than 3 weeks later

Benefits of flexibility

The ability to conduct audits across different sites or scopes, to specify different thresholds of risk for different domains, the ease of conducting audits at remote locations or on suppliers networks (especially during period of restricted travel) are ALL factors that can make technology a useful tool for the auditor.

 

Benefits of transparency

One part of the FRC’s perceived problem space is that of transparency, you can ask a human how they derived a result, and they can probably tell you, or at least show you the audit trail of correspondence, meeting notes or spreadsheet calculations. But can you do this with software or technology?

Certainly, the use of AI and machine learning makes this hard, the learning nature and often black box calculations are not easy to either understand, recalculate in a repeatable way or to document. The system learns, so is always changing, and hence the rationale that a decision might not always be the same.

In technologies that are geared towards delivering audit outcomes this is easier. First, if you collect and retain data, provide an easy interface to go from results to the underlying cases in the source data, it is possible to take a score/rating/risk and reveal the specifics of what led to it. Secondly, it is vital that the calculations are transparent, i.e. that the methods of calculating risks or the way results are scored is decipherable.

 

Benefits of consistency

This is one obvious gain from technology, the logic is pre-programmed in.  If you take two auditors and give them the same data sets or evidence case files they might draw different conclusions (possibly for valid reasons or due to them having different skill areas or experience), but the same algorithm operating on the same data will produce the same result every time.

Manual evidence gathering suffers a number of drawbacks – it relies on written notes, records of verbal conversations, email trails, spreadsheets, or questionnaire responses in different formats.  Retaining all this in a coherent way is difficult and going back through it even harder.

Using a consistent toolset and consistent data format means that if you need to go back to a data source from a particular network domain three months ago, you will have information that is readily available and readable.  And as stated above, if the source data and evidence is re-examined using a consistent solution, you will get the same calculations, decisions and results.

 

Benefits of systematically generated KPIs, cyber maturity measures and issues

The outputs of any audit process need to provide details of the issues found so that the specific or general cases of the failures can be investigated and resolved.  But for managers, operational teams and businesses, having a view of the KPIs for the security operations process is extremely useful.

Of course, following the “lines of defence” model, an internal or external “formal” audit might simply want the results and a level of trust in how they were calculated; however for operational management and ongoing continuous visibility, the need to derive performance statistics comes into its own.

It is worth noting that there are two dimensions to KPIs:   The assessment of the strength or configuration of a control or policy (how good is the control) and the extent or level of coverage (how widely is it enforced).

To give a view of the technical maturity of a defence you really need to combine these two factors together.  A weak control that is widely implemented or a strong control that provides only partial coverage are both causes for concern.

 

Benefits of separation of process stages

The final area where technology can help is in allowing the separation and distribution of the data gathering, analysis and reporting processes.  It is hard to take the data, evidence and meeting notes from someone else and analyse it. For one thing, is it trustworthy and reliable (in the case of third-party assurance questionnaires perhaps)? Then it is also hard to draw high-level conclusions about the analysis.

If technology allows the data gathering to be performed in a distributed way, say by local site administrators, third-party IT staff or non-expert users BUT in a trustworthy way, then the overhead of the audit process is much reduced. Instead of a team having to conduct multiple visits, interviews or data collection activities the toolset can be provided to the people nearest to the point of collection.

This allows the data analysis and interpretation to be performed centrally by the experts in a particular field or control area. So giving a non-expert user a way to collect and provide relevant and trustworthy audit evidence takes a large bite out of the resource overhead of conducting the audit, for both auditor and auditee.

It also means that a target organisation doesn’t have to manage the issue of allowing auditors to have access to networks, sites, data, accounts and systems to gather the audit evidence as this can be undertaken by existing administrators in the environment.

 

Making the right choice

Technology solutions in the audit process can clearly deliver benefits, however if they are too simplistic or aim to be too clever, they can simply move the problem of providing high levels of audit quality. A rapidly generated AI-based risk score is useful, but if it’s not possible to understand the calculation it is hard to either correct the control issues or trouble shoot the underlying process.

Where technology can assist the audit process, speed up data gathering and analysis, and streamline the generation of high- and low-level outputs it can be a boon.

Technology allows organisations to put trustworthy assurance into the hands of operations teams and managers, consultants and auditors alike to provide flexible, rapid and frequent views of control data and understanding of risk posture. If this can be done in a way that is cognisant of the risks and challenges as we have shown, then auditors and regulators such as the FRC can be satisfied.

 

Continue Reading

Magazine

Partner Events

Trending

Finance2 hours ago

THE OUTPERFORMER’S APPROACH TO FINANCIAL PROCESS AUTOMATION

By Michelle Trapani, Director of Product Marketing at Kofax   Achieving more with less is the mantra of our times....

Banking2 hours ago

WHY BANKS NEED TO EMBRACE WELLBEING IN THE DIGITAL EXPERIENCE

Howard Pull, Head of Digital Transformation Strategy at MullenLowe Profero   The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the economy...

Finance12 hours ago

SAFEGUARD YOURSELF FROM FINANCIAL STRUGGLE AND UNCERTAINTY IN THE CASE OF DEMENTIA

Despite the rising incidence of dementia globally – The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates one new case every three seconds...

Technology12 hours ago

WHY TECHNOLOGY IS KEY TO THE FUTURE OF AUDITING

By Piers Wilson, Head of Product Management at Huntsman Security   The Financial Reporting Council (FRC), which is responsible for corporate...

Finance2 days ago

BOOM OR BUST: HOW THE FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR IS COPING

by Simon Black, CEO, Awaken Intelligence   Covid-19 has had an impact across all industries and businesses are feeling the...

Business2 days ago

BACK TO SCHOOL – CEOS NEED TO LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE, FAST!

By Simon Axon, Financial Services Industry Consulting practice lead in EMEA, Teradata   Chief Executive Officers of banks know all...

Business2 days ago

REVITALISING THE TOKEN MARKET

By Gavin Smith, CEO at Panxora   With interest rates near zero and fears that whipsawing stock markets are set for...

Business2 days ago

A SLEEPING DIGITAL GIANT WAKES? 4 KEY TRENDS ACCELERATING PAYMENTS TRANSFORMATION IN THE US

Lauren Jones, International Payments Ambassador, Icon Solutions   The US payments industry is undoubtedly ripe for change. Before the unprecedented...

Finance2 days ago

CAN ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENTS WIN THE FIGHT AGAINST FRAUD?

Magali Michel, Director, Yooz   Despite the implementation of increasingly sophisticated security systems, corporate fraud continues to gain ground: half...

Finance2 days ago

REMOTE INVOICE CAPTURE: ADAPTING TO THE NEW WAY OF WORKING

Author: James Adie, Vice President EMEA Sales at Ephesoft   When the government announced a country-wide lockdown on March 23,...

News2 days ago

GALA TECHNOLOGY SELECTS NUAPAY TO ENABLE OPEN BANKING PAYMENTS

Nuapay, powered by Sentenial, today announces it has been chosen by Gala Technology, a payment security solution specialist, to provide Open...

Top 103 days ago

THE ROLE OF OPEN SOURCE IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

Kris Sharma, Finance Sector Lead, Canonical   Financial services are an important part of the economy and play a wider...

Wealth Management3 days ago

SIMPLIFYING THE RETIREMENT FUND DEATH CLAIMS PROCESS

By Dolana Conco, Regional Executive at Alexander Forbes   Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences...

News3 days ago

THE EMBEDDED BENEFITS IN ESEF DIGITAL FINANCIAL REPORTING

The inclusion of a simple link delivers serious gains in transparency, trust and real time verifiability for the whole financial...

News3 days ago

YAPILY AND OZONE API PARTNERSHIP MARKS TURNING POINT IN OPEN BANKING ADOPTION FOR BANKS

Open banking leader Yapily has today announced a strategic partnership with Ozone API, the leading API standards-based platform, to enable banks and...

News4 days ago

PROGRESSIVE SCENARIO PLANNING FOR THE LIBOR TRANSITION

James Gannaway, Head of Financial Services, Board International   The Financial Stability Board have announced that disruption to markets caused...

News4 days ago

AS DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION ACCELERATES, ENTRUST DATACARD BECOMES “ENTRUST”

Entrust name and identity reflect the critical need for trust at the heart of the digital transformation – and the...

Finance4 days ago

HOW TO TAME YOUR FINANCES TO REGAIN CONTROL OF YOUR MONEY

Credit, combined with bad spending habits, means many South Africans find themselves living from payday to payday, but you can...

Business4 days ago

HOW DATA VIRTUALISATION CAN HELP THE FS INDUSTRY REGAIN COMPLIANCE CONTROL

Charles Southwood, Regional VP – Northern Europe and MEA at Denodo    In recent years, the financial services (FS) sector has witnessed a...

Finance4 days ago

HOW TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING ACCOUNTING

Mike Whitmire is Co-founder and CEO of FloQast,   The fundamentals of accounting have been around for hundreds of years....

Trending