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Forget Passwords: Wells Fargo Set To Start Testing Biometrics To Protect Corporate Accounts

With more and more people choosing to conduct their financial transactions online, the need for better account security has never been more important that it is today.

Wells Fargo, the banking and financial holdings company based in San Francisco, has come up with a new way to ensure the safety and security of its corporate clients by allowing them to access their accounts using an app that would verify ownership through an eye, face or voice scan.

This new biometric system aims to eliminate the need for customers to keep a password, PIN or other personal information that can either be lost or stolen. It makes use of certain physical characteristics that are believed to be unforgettable.

"User names and passwords are basically 15 years old. They're at the end of their useful life," Secil Watson, head of Wells Fargo's online and mobile applications for commercial banking, said.

"Something needs to take their place."

Use Of Biometric Markers For Security

Several financial institutions, such as JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, have begun using new fingerprint scanning features on smartphones to let their non-business clients to safely access their bank accounts.

However, since users are allowed to enter more than one fingerprint on a smartphone, such as those from their family members, these scanners are considered to be less secure than other systems.

This makes it important to develop more stringent security systems, especially when dealing with multimillion-dollar accounts for larger companies.

One such system can be found being employed by U.S. government. Security agencies make use of advanced eye scanners that analyze the blood vessels on a person's retina.

Wells Fargo is looking to roll out a similar system that would use the front-facing cameras of smartphones to scan the blood vessel patterns in people's eyes. These patterns are considered to be unique, just like the fingerprints of people.

This summer, other security program that Wells Fargo is rolling out will scan the face and voice of clients before allowing them to access their bank accounts. To use the biometric system, customers have to align their face within a box on their smartphone's screen, then read a series of codes that will appear.

Wells Fargo hopes that the two new security systems will be able to replace the current one, which requires users to keep a name, corporate ID number, password and even a six- or eight-digit security token code that is generated by the bank's server every few minutes.

Photo: Mike Mozart | Flickr

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