Seniors Adopting to Biometrics for Mobile Banking
Biometric authentication is a fairly new concept that allows mobile phone users the chance to verify their identity through their face, voice or fingerprint. This high-tech solution may seem like a perfect fit for the younger generation, but USAA has discovered a surprising group of supporters–senior citizens.
In a recent round table discussion for the Center for the Study of Financial Innovation, Rick Swenson, executive of fraud operation and strategic initiatives at USAA, said that 400,000 customers have chosen to use biometric authentication on the company’s mobile banking app. The median age for these users is 35, with 15% of the older half over the age of 65. Five of the users are over 90 years old.
What makes biometrics appealing to seniors is not the technology, but rather the convenience of not having to type a PIN or password on a small phone screen. Swenson said most users prefer face and fingerprint authentication over voice recognition because voice requires a quiet environment and a consistent speech pattern.
The USAA first employed its biometrics platform in February. Within the first month, the bank already had 200,000 users enrolled in the service, without any advertising on USAA’s end. The bank has 4.1 million active mobile users, so Swenson expects enrollment to skyrocket in the near future.