Barclays, Citi and other big banks invest in behavior biometrics firm

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Four major global banks are staking $20 million in the behavioral biometrics firm BioCatch.

BioCatch uses advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence to monitor web and mobile app sessions in the background, and look for signs of cyberattack, spoofing and more based on behavioral data. Its customers include banks, payment companies and insurance companies. In April, the company said it counted more than 40 of the world’s largest global financial institutions as customers.

Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC and National Australia Bank were all part of BioCatch’s Series C fundraising round, which totaled $168 million. Each institution will receive two seats on BioCatch’s newly formed BioCatch Client Innovation Board, alongside longtime investor American Express Ventures.

Innovation Board members will contribute ideas for new BioCatch offerings and help develop methods to thwart online fraud. One major focus is on online user behavior, especially as business activity has largely moved online during the pandemic.

In a press release, each bank explained the reasoning for their investment in BioCatch, which largely centered on a desire to build on fraud and scam protections for their customers.

“In using device behavioral biometrics from BioCatch, we’re able to bolster our efforts to proactively detect fraud before the transfer of funds occurs, reducing the financial and emotional impact of scams for our customers,” said Chris Sheehan, general manager, group investigations and fraud at National Australia Bank.

“We are investing in BioCatch and joining the Innovation Board to build on our existing measures at Barclays that prevent fraud and scams,” said Hilda Jenkins, head of customer for digital channels and platforms across mobile, web and API at Barclays, said in the release.

BioCatch, which is based in New York and Tel Aviv, claims it can detect stolen or synthetic identities during onboarding, recognize account takeovers and flag social engineering scams using its millions of behavior profiles and transaction data. The company says it can flag user digital behavior that presents potential risk, without collecting personally identifiable information that would compromise user privacy.

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Fraud detection Cyber security Biometrics Identity verification