White Paper Explores Advances in Multimodal Biometrics for Inclusive and Secure Online Banking


With the rapid growth of online banking and financial services shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic, biometric authentication has also followed the trend. But concerns about the inclusiveness of biometrics on race and gender may leave some people more baffled than relieved. It’s this mindset that Mitek seeks to dispel in a white paper examining how Multimodal Biometric Authentication (MBA) leads inclusive biometric authentication while combining convenience and security for financial institutions.

The white paper, titled “Biometrics and Bias: The Science of Inclusiveness,” consists of a Q&A between the company’s Chief Marketing Officer, Cindy White, and Stephen Ritter, Mitek’s Chief Technology Officer, and Alexey Khitrov, CEO and co-founder of ID R&D. As such, the white paper represents a first look at the combined vision of Mitek and its major acquisition just under a year ago.

As banks have used biometric authentication in increasing numbers during the pandemic and consumers have shown greater acceptance of biometrics to open accounts, the MBA is seen as the ideal bridge between convenience and security for users.

Combining multiple biometric modalities (e.g., face and fingerprint) to authenticate users rather than just one is meant to address concerns about the accuracy of race, ethnicity, age, sex and transgender. While biometric algorithms face numerous allegations that they contain biases in recognizing darker-skinned people and women, Khitrov says ID R&D and Mitek collect a range of “comprehensive and diverse” biometric data to guarantee equal and comparable performance. The developers say they’ve also found a way to accommodate people transitioning to another gender without sacrificing biometric accuracy.

When asked how they aim to improve Mitek’s MBA capabilities, Khitrov and Ritter cite efforts to create “balanced and representative datasets,” a method to measure bias, and supervised machine learning to train analytical models. More generally, the two say Mitek is trying to minimize bias through a governance infrastructure to test and deliver biometric templates within two weeks.

“We still have room to improve, but continuous improvement is a big part of the agile approach,” says Ritter.

For more information on how multimodal biometrics can help banks and fintechs meet changed customer expectations, and how it differs from technologies such as Face ID, the white paper is available free of charge at Biometric update readers.

Article topics

precision | bias | biometrics | digital identity | financial services | R&D ID | KYC | mitek | multimodal | white paper

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