A recent survey from the world’s largest fraud-fighting institution – the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) – finds 40% of banks now use physical biometrics to help combat fraud (up from just 26% five years ago), while another 17% plan to add the technology in the next two years. Only 20% of respondents reported the use of behavioral biometrics solutions.

While this marks significant growth in the adoption of these technologies, it still means that nearly half of the world’s financial institutions are not using any of these controls now and have no plans of doing so in the next few years.

More baffling (and concerning!), 31% of respondents across 111 different countries explicitly said they never planned to use physical biometrics to fight fraud, while more than 40% of surveyed banks said they’d never use any behavioral biometrics solution.

In a world where a ceaselessly innovating cadre of international fraudsters – increasingly armed with toolkits powered by artificial intelligence (AI) – walk away with $1 trillion every year, the decision to never employ any physical or behavioral biometric fraud-fighting tools appears a massive missed opportunity to protect consumers.

Sharing data: The time has come 

Also confounding: A staggering 49% of the financial institutions surveyed said they were unwilling to exchange internal data with other banks to help fight fraud.

We need to change the ways we monitor and manage financial crime. The bad actors aren't going to stop evolving. If we don’t continue to embrace the innovative tools available to us, we risk enabling those fraudsters to further control the chess board, creating long-term deficits in our ability to manage outcomes and protect consumers from being exploited by bad actors.

Behavioral biometrics intelligence – the analysis of patterns of user interactions (typing, swiping, mouse movements, device and network inputs, and more) throughout every step of the user’s journey through a digital domain – has the capacity to be a transformative fraud-fighting tool.

Using physical biometrics – fingerprint ID, retina-scanning, etc. – as an authentication mechanism and then harvesting additional behavioral biometric elements for analysis and deployment as both preventative and detective controls provides the complementary framework financial institutions need to combat financial crime today and in the future.

Other interesting tidbits from the ACFE survey:

The vast majority (83%) of respondents expected to add some form of generative AI to their fraud-fighting arsenals in the next couple of years.

While 82% of surveyed banks named financial restrictions as the top deterrent to adding new anti-fraud technologies to their toolkits, 60% of them expected to increase their fraud-fighting budgets over the next two years.

More than 2/3 of survey participants expected lack of perceived ROI to hinder their abilities to add new anti-fraud solutions.


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