Select Page

5 Reasons why Banks need Behavioral Biometrics

Mar 17, 2023

Over 9,103 bank fraud cases worth 604 billion rupees were reported across India in 2022.  

Now, this is not a good sign for the banking industry. Let alone the digital banking sector.

With digital transformation on the rise, the cyber threat landscape has evolved too. Fraudsters are adapting sophisticated tactics and technologies to steal identity, data, and money for their corrupt motives. The security attacks have deep risk implications that result in financial loss, regulatory scrutiny, and depletion of customer trust and goodwill. 

These repercussions have created a dire demand for stringent security in digital banking. A one that does not hamper customer experience. Banks need technology innovation that can go beyond PINs and passwords to deter security attacks without compromising customer experience, trust, or regulatory compliance. 

Behavioral biometrics serve as a great solution to deter the security risks at stake. Advanced technology in behavioral biometrics can mitigate the security concerns of digital banks without impeding speed, personalization, convenience, or experience. It is a great way to build stakeholder loyalty and trust. 

What is behavioral biometrics? 

Behavioral biometrics is a cutting-edge technology that continuously analyzes user identity along with their phygital (physical + digital) and cognitive behavior. It averts security risks such as credential theft, compromised passwords/accounts, user substitution, phishing attacks, license mismanagement, and identity breaches of any kind. The biometric authentication runs without making a noise in the background and does not impede the customer experience on any level.  

By monitoring and analyzing user movements like swiping, keying, scrolling, or even moving the devices, behavioral biometrics helps differentiate legitimate from fraudulent activities and can easily identify cybercriminals and fraudsters. It creates in-depth profiles of user behavior and uses them as a benchmark for identifying and preventing suspicious transactions. If the system notices any unusual conduct, alerts are triggered in the background to carry out extra research to preserve the integrity of the account and the authorized user.  

Banks today are exploring biometrics as a possible replacement for PIN and password systems for a more user-friendly banking experience. Behavioral biometrics can usher in a new era in digital authentication when implemented with machine learning and risk assessment techniques. When deployed in conjunction with biometric cards, it can combat even the most sophisticated digital banking fraud attacks. 

Types of behavioral biometrics 

The way a user walks, talks, types on a keyboard, or moves the mouse is factored in behavioral biometrics to validate identity and discover breaches. Kinesthetics, voice inputs and patterns, and devise-based gestures are primary types of behavioral biometrics. 

Kinesthetics (Posture & Gait) 

The way a person’s body moves and how their weight is distributed are kinesthetic behaviors of the user. Behavioral biometrics records and analyzes user gait, the way and the manner in which they handle devices, and body movements such as stride length, upper body posture, and movement pace to identify fraudulent activity.  

Voice Inputs & Patterns 

The human voice is unique. By capturing narrow-band characteristics such as pitch and format, the perpetrator’s identity and motive are very easily verified. The voice inputs and patterns of the user are analyzed, and the distinct, recurring sound variations that occur when they speak are captured and evaluated in behavioral biometrics. 

Device-Based Gestures (Keystroke Dynamics & Cursor Movements) 

People interact with devices in specific ways. Typing patterns, keystroke speed and duration, key sequences, and mouse movement patterns have a significant correlation with behavioral intent. Cursor movement analysis in speed, direction changes, clicks, and interactions serves as a basis for user behavior profiles.   

The gestures discussed above are analyzed in detail continuously to create behavioral profiles as input to risk engines/fraud monitoring systems. Banks and financial institutions can adopt this advanced technology to provide an extra layer of security for customer identity verification and fraud control. 

How does behavioral biometrics prevent fraud?

The process of preventing fraud and scams with behavioral data happens as follows.

  • Collection: The Access Control Server (ACS) monitors and records user actions and behaviors, such as typing rhythm, mouse movements, device usage patterns, and other kinesthetics.   
  • Analysis: A unique user profile is created after a thorough analysis of the collected data based on their behavioral patterns.   

  • Authentication: When a user attempts to access a protected resource, the system compares the current behavior of the user to their previously established profile. If the behavior matches, the user is authenticated and granted access.  
  • Monitoring: Continued monitoring and updating of the user behavioral profile is done to ensure accuracy.   

This way, behavioral biometrics significantly improves security and user experience in digital banking.  

Five reasons why banks need behavioral biometrics 

  1. Stronger security: Behavioral biometrics uses unique behavioral patterns and actions to verify the identity of an individual, providing a stronger form of authentication when compared to traditional methods such as passwords and security tokens. 
  2. User convenience: Unlike traditional biometrics, such as fingerprints and facial recognition, behavioral biometrics do not require any physical input from the user. Instead, it uses actions and behaviors that are performed naturally, such as typing rhythm and mouse movements. This makes it a convenient and user-friendly method of authentication.   
  3. Continuous authentication: Behavioral biometrics continuously monitor the actions and behaviors of the user, ensuring that the user’s identity is continuously verified even after initial authentication. This helps prevent fraud by detecting any changes in behavior that may indicate that a fraudster has taken over the account.  
  4. More difficult to mimic: Unlike other forms of biometrics, it is difficult for a fraudster to mimic the unique behavioral patterns of an individual. This makes it a more secure form of authentication, reducing the risk of fraud.  
  5. Improved fraud detection: By continuously monitoring user behavior, behavioral biometrics can help financial institutions identify potential fraud and investigate suspicious activity, giving them another layer of security to their customer’s accounts.  

The technology behind behavioral biometrics is evolving, and there is no doubt that a lot of work in this space is already underway. The early indications are quite clear that it will be a key component of banks’ arsenal against the continuously evolving world of fraud. It’s high time banks take behavioral biometrics seriously to authenticate and protect end-users from hacking and fraud. 

Want to know more about Behavioral Biometrics?   

Write to us at 

Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest fintech news, views, and insights, directly to your inbox.

Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for insightful fintech tales curated for curious minds like you.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like…