Safeguarding the Elderly from Scams with Biometric IDV

Lisa Hern

Although financial scams targeting the elderly existed for many decades, they’ve become increasingly prevalent in the digital era. And as more and more financial services move online, it’s crucial that we find ways to protect this vulnerable population from fraudsters seeking to exploit them. 

Perhaps the most promising solution is remote biometric identity verification (IDV), which leverages advanced technologies like facial recognition and AI-powered document verification to ensure that only legitimate account holders can access their financial accounts and initiate transactions.

The power of biometrics

Biometric authentication is a game-changer when it comes to preventing account takeover fraud, which is a common tactic used by scammers to target elderly individuals. 

Requiring users to verify their identity using unique physical traits like their face means financial institutions can ensure that only authorized account holders can make changes to account details or initiate transactions. This added layer of security makes it much harder for fraudsters to impersonate elderly customers and steal their funds.

Securing high-risk transactions

Scammers often try to trick elderly individuals into initiating fraudulent wire transfers, money orders, or other high-risk transactions. 

The implementation of biometric step-up authentication for these types of transactions allows financial institutions to confirm that the person initiating the transaction is indeed the legitimate account holder. This can help prevent devastating financial losses and give elderly customers peace of mind knowing that their assets are secure.

Safe & convenient remote access

For many elderly individuals, visiting a physical bank branch or service center can be challenging due to mobility issues or health concerns. 

Remote biometric IDV solutions can enable secure remote onboarding and customer support experiences, allowing elderly customers to access the financial services they need from the comfort and safety of their own homes—not only improving accessibility but also reducing the risk of exposure to in-person scams.

The pesky password problem

Remembering complex passwords and security question answers can be a major challenge for elderly individuals, making them more susceptible to social engineering attacks. 

Biometric authentication eliminates the need for elderly customers to manage and recall this type of information, as their unique physical traits serve as secure, unforgettable credentials. This can greatly reduce the risk of unauthorized access to financial accounts due to compromised login information.

A comprehensive approach

While biometric identity verification is a powerful tool for safeguarding elderly financial services customers, it’s just one piece of a comprehensive protection strategy. Financial institutions should also focus on educating elderly customers about common scams, providing dedicated support channels for this population, and designing user experiences with their unique needs in mind. 

In taking a holistic approach to security and usability, financial services providers can create a safer, more inclusive environment for elderly customers.

Protecting the vulnerable

As the world becomes increasingly digital, it’s more important than ever that we prioritize the security and well-being of elderly financial services customers. 

Remote biometric IDV offers a promising solution for preventing financial scams and ensuring that elderly individuals can access the services they need safely and conveniently. Embracing this technology and combining it with other customer protection measures allows financial institutions to build trust, improve inclusivity, and create a more secure future for even the most susceptible among us.

About the post:
Images are generative AI-created. Prompt: Elderly Asian couple, 80s, standing tall and proud, wearing advanced bionic exoskeleton suits, sleek chrome and carbon fiber material, glowing blue energy lines, futuristic design, empowered and confident poses, determined facial expressions, industrial background with warm lighting, highly detailed, photorealistic, cinematic. Tool: Midjourney.

About the author:
Lisa Hern is IDVerse’s Head of Customer Success for North America. With over 15 years of experience in customer support, she is a proven leader in the space. A relentless customer advocate and cultivator of relationships, Lisa has also been certified as a naturalist in the state of California. She is based in Sunnyvale, CA.

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