Money 2020 is bigger and flashier than any other event for the financial/fintech sector so it seems fitting that it was held in Las Vegas. Both the location and venue created a perfect backdrop for the key event theme: the fast transfer of money. Here are a few of the major topics covered in this year’s Money 2020 conference:


Transfer Speed and Ease of Use

The move to faster and easier transfer of monies for personal and business transactions was a recurring theme from a number of keynote speakers. This has been a strong focus in Europe and Asia for a few years now, but the growing emphasis in the United States will bring with it real advantages and threats to take into account. We’ve seen that faster payments lead to increased functionality for online banking, but this also results in the real threat of fraud losses if proper controls are not put in place. It is often hard to balance a seamless customer experience with friction associated with fraud controls and stronger authentication, especially with the very short timeframes for which to make a decision.


The Role of Technology

Fintech changes the way people use technology to influence how we pay for things. Millennials are now the driving force behind this shift, as they covet convenience but don’t want to deal with the disruption that security controls often require. One of the discussion panels focused on the use of biometrics in banking, more specifically how biometrics reduce friction, allowing the technology in smartphones to let customers easily access their accounts.


The concept of “multimodality” was discussed and how it gives customers a choice of authentication methods, with a variety of biometrics now in wider use. The most common for banking apps is still fingerprints, though not all phone models have this capability yet. As confidence in biometrics increases, the use of other technologies inherent in all smartphones (e.g cameras and microphones) will be  exploited. Taking selfies or speaking a passphrase are available authentication in a number of banks now, giving customers the ability to choose which method they prefer.


Behavioral Biometrics

The use of behavioral biometrics in the marketplace is growing. Several attendees sought us out to speak about how behavioral biometrics, and the continuous authentication it offers, can provide stronger confidence in customer identity even after the initial hard” biometric authentication or login has occurred. There was a lot of chatter around how an initial biometric authentication can be subverted, or sessions taken over by social engineering or malware. With these persistent threats, attendees wanted to know how background monitoring and behavior analysis could provide better fraud detection capabilities without adding any additional customer friction.


As this conversation becomes more prevalent across organizations, I suspect that next year’s Biometrics panel will include much more discussion about behavioral biometrics with several real life examples of how it is being used in practice.


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