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Change Can Be Hard: Strategies for Successful Biometric Implementation

In our previous blog, ‘Biometric Adoption: Does it have to be all or nothing?’ we discussed the concept of easing in to biometric adoption rather than ‘forcing’ change.  In this post, we’ll delve into practical strategies to implement partial adoption, in ways that are comfortable for users and simultaneously benefit the organizations.

 

Newer technology at its best is almost always faster, more efficient and more powerful than its predecessors.  And yet, not everyone is so quick to jump on the bandwagon.  For example, despite the incredible power that smartphones offer their users to communicate, read, navigate, play games and more – a surprising 18% of American adults that own a mobile device do not own a smartphone.  Many of those users choose to stay with simpler, older technologies – something many of us may find hard to believe considering our own dependence on these devices.  This teaches a valuable lesson about technology adoption in general: not everyone is willing to adopt new technology so quickly, and biometric technology adoption is no different.

 

Despite the many benefits biometrics offers, including efficiency, speed and fraud prevention, there are still those who are not ready to give their biometric information, primarily due to security or privacy concerns.

 

Yet organizations that wish to gain from the benefits of biometric identification can still do so without alienating those individuals by utilizing strategies that help ease the transition to biometric identification.

 

  • Make It Optional and Provide Added Value

Today, airports, stadiums and even theme parks offer users the chance to use biometric technology to skip lines and use ‘express lanes’ to save time as well as customize experiences. VIPs, season ticketholders, frequent fliers and others enjoy better and faster service through smooth biometric identification.  Users can still enter using keycards or other older methods if they choose to do so, but they will miss out on the benefits of the biometric solution.  In corporate settings for example, employees can choose to use faster, biometrics-based access or use non-employee entrances if they don’t feel comfortable using a biometrics solution.

 

Beyond the corporate setting, biometrics can also be used to improve customer experiences, or create tailored, personalized programs for those who opt-in for cultural experiences, in retail settings and more. The ICER (Industry, Culture, Education and Recreation) Innovation Center in the Netherlands implemented our IMID technology to create customized experiences for museum visitors that were fun and interactive.  Visitors could choose not to take part in the enhanced visit enabled by biometrics and simply experience the baseline version of the museum, which provides standard out-of-the-box information for each exhibit. However, the biometric option allows visitors to have the museum exhibits customized based on what they had previously seen, creating a tailored, individualized journey for each visitor.

 

  • Start with Biometrics in Optional Locations

Often, certain services or locations do not need to be used by employees, but are optional amenities such as employee centers or health facilities. These are often more social settings in which employees can relax and connect. By implementing biometrics-based identification solutions in these types of settings, employees can interact with the new technology in a low-stress environment and only if they choose to.  For example, companies can allow employees to pay for meals at corporate cafeterias using biometric identification, which saves precious break time for those choosing to opt-in and enabling them to skip longer payment lines. Furthermore, using biometrics in settings such as cafeterias or corporate health facilities protects employees from fraudulent use of ID cards if they are lost or stolen.

 

  • Educate Users In Advance

Another way to ensure a smooth biometrics deployment, whether in a partial deployment, or a full biometric implementation, is to ensure that new users are educated on the new technology in advance of its deployment. For example, in a corporate setting, employees may be concerned with privacy or data security issues. It’s critical that organizations make clear that the data being collected is kept private. This information can be imparted in a number of ways.

  1. An organization can hold a town hall meeting to explain benefits and answer questions that new users might have. Organizations should be as transparent as possible and provide employees with enough information to calm any doubts.
  2. Provide educational materials to new users in advance. This can include sending letters to employees notifying them of the new technology, explaining how it works, and outlining how data privacy will be ensured. Organizations can also provide training videos that demonstrate how seamless the new system will be, and how it will improve the status quo.
  3. Have management take the lead by being the first to enroll in the biometrics system. Having the company CEO set the example will demonstrate trust in the system.
  4. Make implementation a fun activity, such as a competition. This can also help users who aren’t as excited about the technology take part and learn about it.

The above strategies for implementation allow organizations to take advantage of the significant benefits that biometric identification can offer while allowing individuals freedom of choice whether to partake in the system or not.  History has shown that over time, if a technology saves people time and makes life easier, the majority will opt to adopt by choice as they grow more comfortable with the new technology.  When considering implementation of a biometric system, keep in mind that it doesn’t necessarily require 100% adoption today and can coexist with other systems until users feel comfortable with the system, and recognize how it can benefit their lives as well.

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