When it comes to mobile banking technology firm Digital Insight's new replacement for passwords, the "eyes" have it.
Digital Insight, a company owned by NCR Corporation, has secured an agreement with EyeVerify Inc. to integrate the biometrics company's eye vein recognition technology, called EyePrint ID, into its mobile banking platforms, the companies announced Feb. 11. Digital Insight will be the first company in the U.S. financial services industry to use the technology.
EyePrint ID technology works like this: the customer takes a front-facing picture, or "selfie," of her eyes, capturing their unique pattern of blood vessels. Once the customer's eye print is stored, she will be able to log in with a selfie — instead of typing in a password, the new photo of her eyes will be matched against the eye print to verify her identity.
Unlike some fingerprint technology, EyePrint ID does not require additional software or hardware. This made it attractive to Digital Insight, the company said.
"One of the real benefits of EyeVerify is that it works on any phone that has a 1 megapixel camera," said Katherine Jansen, senior manager of business development at Digital Insight, in an email. "That means our financial institutions can offer it to a broad group of customers, not just those with the latest phone."
Jansen added that Digital Insight will also roll out TouchID, fingerprint-based biometric technology, to give app users a wider range of security options to choose from.
The banks and credit unions that choose to integrate the EyePrint ID technology into their mobile banking will be able to offer their customers the choice to opt in to the EyePrint password and later opt out if they want to switch to another password format.
The Kansas City-based company first rolled out its authentication service for the financial services industry back in 2013. Since then, it has attracted the attention of major investors, including Wells Fargo, which selected EyeVerify when it launched its fintech accelerator program in August 2014.
EyeVerify continues to work with Wells Fargo as well as companies overseas to further its goal to have more companies adopt its EyePrint technology for financial applications, said Chris Barnett, executive vice president of global sales and marketing at EyeVerify.
The System Works Group in Australia uses EyePrint ID in its mobile banking app. EyeVerify is also working with VAS2Nets Technologies, a mobile technology firm serving clients in Europe and Africa, to integrate it into financial services apps there.
EyeVerify executives say biometrics technology can make mobile banking easier as well as more secure. "Our product is about security obviously, but it's also about usability," Barnett said. "A lot of people don't do mobile banking and we think it's going to help with adoption."
Digital Insight will begin a staggered rollout of the product to six bank and credit union customers in the spring.