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Do You Know How Facial Biometrics Works in Banking?

Do You Know How Facial Biometrics Works in Banking?

Simplify, accelerate and innovate – that’s how biometrics disrupted and benefited the banking industry. As users quickly became accustomed to using smartphones as their main access point to their bank accounts, banks needed to find a way to free their clients from complex combinations of names, passwords, and codes that have to be laboriously typed on a tiny touch keyboard.

Fortunately, these developments overlapped with the rapid boom in facial biometrics. Its accuracy has increased twenty fold over the past five years and is currently far superior to human capabilities when distinguishing people’s identities. In addition, it can be easily integrated into mobile phones by utilizing the selfie camera.

It was the high level of security that convinced bankers to give facial biometrics a chance. While passwords can be stolen or guessed, it’s impossible to do so with faces. In other words, the phone must be held only by the authorized user. If the client suddenly disappears from sight, the app simply locks or blurs itself. It‘s simple and effective.

The additional confirmations of electronic transactions over 30 Euros, which are currently required by banks under European legislation, are also ideal for biometrics. The client can confirm a payment with a single glance. There are several possible approaches, but the most convenient for the client is the biometric one.

The cherry on top is the possibility to open an account completely remotely. This approach has the potential to change the way financial and other services are provided. By providing reliable identity verification, branches can focus on selling high value-added products. The mobile phone and the clients themselves will take care of the identification. They can do it faster than it would have taken to get dressed up for a trip to a bank branch.

Facial biometrics offers the following:

  • A Security System Without the Need for Passwords

With the number of passwords a client has, it’s hardly surprising they are becoming increasingly difficult to remember. Complex passwords are especially a problem since they include upper-case and lower-case letters, characters and numbers. The fact is, a client does not only have a bank account, but also accounts on social networks, internet provider websites, mobile applications, and software. However, such a large number of passwords is very difficult to remember. If facial biometrics were to replace passwords, the problem would easily be solved.

  • More Convenient Access to the Account

The current requirements for bank transaction security and two-factor authorization favor the need for facial biometrics. In combination with another security element, for example, entering a one-time code, it creates an effective security mechanism without unnecessarily restricting the user.

  • Higher Level of Protection of the Client

Although current accounts are password-protected, there are still cases where this sensitive data can fall into the wrong hands. Most often, the data is unknowingly provided to the attackers by the clients themselves through so-called phishing, i.e., fraudulent gathering of data from trusting users. Alternatively, they are unaware that they have malicious software installed on their computer that can capture access data. Biometrics does not allow such fraudulent incidents. It requires the user’s constant presence in order for the bank to process the transaction. Passwords can be fraudulently obtained from clients, but not their faces.

A Loan in Eight Minutes

Slovak banks are among the most innovative in Europe. Thanks to Innovatrics, they have made their services available remotely through facial biometrics. It takes care of confirming the client’s identity at several levels: In addition to comparing a selfie with the photo on an identity card, the system can also check data, including biometric data in the population register as well. It can, therefore, detect cases where someone tries to open an account with a modified stolen document. Such verified clients get a new, fully functional account almost immediately and, if needed, they can also take a pre-approved loan. A client could receive an SMS about a loan getting approved within eight minutes of launching the application and opening an account. Currently, this option is being used not only by the largest Slovak banks, Tatra banka and Slovenská sporiteľňa, but also by the innovative financial securities trader, Finax, which plans to implement biometrics for its rapid expansion into neighboring countries.


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