According to American Banker, vendors promoting their biometric security tools to banks say consumer confidence in such systems has improved, and that in some cases the cost is becoming more manageable.

Meanwhile, consumers are warming up to biometric authentication systems as well. According to a survey conducted by Gartner Inc. in August, 30.7 percent of respondents said they would prefer biometrics as an alternative to usernames and passwords, while 18.1 percent chose a keyfob that plugs into a computer’s USB port and 18 percent chose a smart card and reader. Consumers have said in the past that they dislike the idea of financial companies holding a database of fingerprint information. But those ideas are changing because the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks changed peoples’ attitudes toward security, according to Michael McCormick, the lead architect for information security with Wells Fargo.     EC