In the news: Biometric banking

Using biometric technologies for verification is on the rise for banks around the world
by Bethan Rees

One of South Africa’s ‘big four’ banks, First National Bank (FNB), is rolling out 50 biometric banking kiosks across FNB branches and community retailers in towns and more rural areas in South Africa, according to Finextra. These will take the form of ‘mini-ATMs’, called TouchPoint. 

The self-service kiosk will validate a customer’s identity with the touch of a thumb, allowing the customer to perform actions such as withdrawals and payment transfers, purchasing airtime and electricity, card cancellations and opening new accounts. 

Lee-Anne van Zyl, CEO of FNB, says: “The TouchPoint validates a customer’s identity by scanning a fingerprint placed on the biometric reader and it can detect false fingerprints to prevent fraud. The identity of the customer is then verified with the Department of Home Affairs to ensure the self-service account opening complies with the relevant laws.”

Finextra article 

Saving face at HSBCHSBC customers have been using biometric technologies for some time, writes Antony Peyton for BankingTech, through the functionality of Touch ID, voice recognition and Selfie ID login to the HSBCnet app. 

Now it also offers facial recognition verification, known as Face ID, to corporate customers. Users can log in to the app in less than a second. It works by analysing over 30,000 reference points on the customer’s face. HSBC claims “there is less than a one-in-a-million chance of mistaken identity”. 

The only smartphone that currently offers the Face ID service is Apple’s iPhone X and, according to Peyton, almost a fifth of HSBCnet customers that use the iPhone X are using this service. 

This development, writes Peyton, is “all part of the open banking craze and allows users to see their UK current account and online savings accounts, mortgages, loans and cards held across a number of banks, including non-HSBC accounts, in one app”.

Banking Tech article

Using voices in ChinaIn China, Citibank has deployed the use of Voice Biometrics in a bid to speed up verification for customers trying to get through to its service helpline, according to Private Banker International. This technology will eliminate the need to remember complicated passwords or answers to personal questions. 

According to Private Banker International, a ‘voiceprint’ is as unique as a fingerprint, is “less intrusive” than other authentication processes, and the verification takes just 15 seconds compared with the current 45 seconds method. 

The technology has, according to the article, “already been introduced in multiple countries in the Asia Pacific region with a customer base of around 4.48 million people."

It’s apparent biometrics for verification is becoming part of the customer’s day-to-day banking lives, helping them with increased security and accessibility. Will using biometrics become commonplace for every bank? 

Private Banker International article 

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Published: 11 May 2018
  • The Review
  • fintech
  • technology
  • Banking

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