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Safety in Patterns

The recent biometrics buzz is around consumer-facing applications.

February 21, 2014
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The increased availability of biometrics, including Apple’s inclusion of a thumbprint scanner on its latest iPhone, is fueling consumers’ interest in the technology, says Frank Natoli, chief innovation officer for Diebold, a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider.

He says Apple’s move “reignited conversations about biometrics by making the technology available to the masses. The myriad devices showcased at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas pushed that conversation even further.”

The popularity of biometrics is growing, Natoli says, because the technology delivers on two critical consumer expectations: convenience and security.

But Natoli says successful biometrics applications must go one step further. “The must achieve three things in priority order: augment security, enhance convenience and efficiency, and minimize liability.”

He recently discussed innovations in biometrics, including possible applications for credit unions, with Credit Union Magazine.

CU Mag: What biometrics technologies are most applicable to CUs?

Natoli: At the financial institution, biometric technology is often used as an authentication tool, as opposed to an identification tool, for both staff and consumers. For instance, retina, thumb, or palm scanners are used to control access to and increase the security of vaults, safes, and restricted areas.

But the recent biometrics buzz is around consumer-facing applications. For credit unions, that means biometrics at the ATM, safety deposit boxes, and mobile banking applications.

These applications are already gaining traction in other parts of the world. In Brazil, nearly every new ATM shipped to a financial institution from Diebold’s plant in São Paulo contains biometric technology.

In the U.S., current consumer-facing biometric technology at financial institutions is limited mostly to enabling access to safety deposit boxes, such as Diebold’s Electronic Vault Attendant (EVA) Elite.

As the prevalence of personal devices with biometric scanners increases and mobile-to-ATM interactions continue to grow, including this layer of authentication for self-service banking channels is a clear opportunity for financial institutions to increase security and convenience for consumers.

CU Mag: What are the benefits of biometrics technology over other security technologies?

Natoli: In recent research commissioned by Diebold, consumers said they are concerned about security and depend on their financial institutions to keep their financial assets and personal information secure.

Apart from convenience, consumers are attracted to biometrics because it is perceived as more secure. The fact is, adding biometrics as an element of multi-factor authentication does increase security.

The key here is multi-factor authentication. Layering biometrics onto one or two other factors greatly minimizes the potential for theft and fraud.

Multi-factor authentication can be achieved through a combination of these four factors:

NEXT: Biometrics in action

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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