Biometrics set to do away with passwords, experts say

Biometrics set to do away with passwords, experts say

(NPN) - Passwords are passe. That's what some experts are saying about having to enter and remember those annoying combinations of numbers and letters to access your accounts.

Insiders say the future of security, especially in banking, will be using biometrics to log in to accounts..

Yes, what you may have seen in James Bond and sci-fi movies may become mainstream.

How does this technology work? And can it really keep hackers out of your accounts?

Voice verification is how Erich Dye of San Antonio, TX, signs into his mobile banking app

"My identity is secure because my voice is my passport, verify me," Dye said.

And facial recognition is how his wife, Donna, logs on.

"It's my face - no one has my face," Donna Dye said. "I like the fact that you have these extra steps, and it keeps my account more secure."

The Dyes are using cutting-edge mobile banking security: They don't type a complicated password into a little hand-held keypad.

They rely on biometrics. But what is that, exactly?

"There's the bio component - that's biology, and metrics - that's the measurement, so it's using the measurement of our unique characteristics to distinguish one person from another," said biometrics expert Todd Mozer, CEO of the Santa Clara, CA-based Sensory, Inc.

Between voice activation, facial recognition and fingerprint verification, experts say biometric banking is booming.

"I think they are the big thing that's going on right now and in the future," Mozer said.

And it's not only mobile banking. At least one U.S. bank is now using voice verification when you call customer service.

Experts predict biometrics will also be used one day in ATMs, online banking and other smart devices.  Claes Bell of Bankrate, a Palm Beach, FL-based consumer financial services company, said it's a positive trend.

"They're better than what we have now," Bell said. "It's much more convenient to provide a physical trait that can't be impersonated easily such as your voice or your facial features."

Biometrics is growing so quickly an industry group called The FIDO Alliance - FIDO stands for "fast identity online" - formed to encourage the dumping of old-school text passwords, and to create standards for these new high-tech logins.

While it may sound creepy to send your biometric information out, FIDO said it assures that "user credentials (are) never to leave the user's device."

Mozer said that should soothe user anxieties.

"So, it's actually on the device itself," Mozer said. "It's under your control and not off in the cloud somewhere that can be hacked into and taken away."

Erich and Donna Dye aren't creeped out by using their biometric info. They said they like the security of it, which they even tried to trick by using a picture of Donna's face to log in.

The result: access denied.

If you'd like to see if your bank is going to offer biometric security features, check their website or give them a call.

Copyright 2015 NPN via Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.