fingerprint keyboard

Fingerprint security and voice recognition helps keep Singapore safe | Source: Pexels

Singapore’s financial sector leads with biometric security

SINGAPORE leads the global adoption of fingerprint biometrics and voice recognition technologies to authenticate a customer’s identity in the financial services sector, according to a new international study by GBG and Forrester Consulting.

The study surveyed 315 traditional firms as well as fin-techs and challenger banks across the globe in Singapore, China, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, to examine customer experience maturity and found that Singapore leads in certain areas of customer identity technologies.

In terms of fingerprint biometrics, Singapore comes in first (61 percent) ahead of China, Australia, the UK, and the US, in that order.

Singapore also surpasses other markets as the global leader in the adoption of voice recognition, with 56 percent of firms indicating that they have either implemented this or are expanding or upgrading their technologies.

The research identified Singapore firms as consistently competitive, coming second to China in the adoption of social media data and behavioral monitoring to authenticate a customer’s identity, and behind only Australia in the implementation of facial recognition biometrics.

Singapore (89 percent) is also close to the US (92 percent) when it comes to firms placing a high or critical priority on improving the experience of customers.

As digital, technology-led innovation redefines every aspect of financial services, the study further revealed the following facts of Singaporean firms over the next 12 months:

  • Ninety-one percent of firms believe it is top-priority to improve their ability to innovate
  • Seventy-nine percent are planning to increase their spending on digital customer experience
  • Forty-one percent of strongly agree they have the necessary people and skills to execute their customer-centric strategy – a higher percentage than any other market

However, according to the Forrester study, customer identification is a widespread issue among financial service firms globally.

In Singapore, 89 percent of firms expressed concern with their ability to identify customers.

The top two reasons cited include the lack of a comprehensive data management strategy to create a single view of the customer and poor integration of business applications and technology platforms which make it difficult to share information internally or externally.

Zooming out on financial services in the APAC, the study also found that firms in the region trump their counterparts in the UK and US in terms of adoption of fingerprint biometrics and emerging technologies such as blockchain and robotic process automation.

While Singapore is behind the rest of the APAC region when it comes to enabling customers to carry out onboarding processes online, Singaporean firms are the keenest on implementing a fully-online process within the next 12 months.