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The new ‘face’ of banking… it’s yours!

The selfie phenomenon has hit headlines across the world, a real craze which sees no sign of slowing down any time soon. In recent years, we’ve seen many attempts in a bid to replace the password. From the finger print recognition, to Voice ID verification; it’s no surprise that Financial Institutions are jumping on bandwagon of the latest new selfie trend, in an attempt to appeal to the younger generation of bankers.

Financial heavy weights HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group are all exploring new ways for customers to access their accounts, recently introducing “selfie verification” to pass identity checks for new accounts.

So how does it work? In simple terms, banks prompt prospective customers to provide a self-portrait snap (selfie) on their iOS or Android phone, which will then verify using facial recognition technology. The selfie is then cross-referenced against a photo ID such as a passport or driving licence, to confirm the individual’s identity. Known as biometric technology, this method utilises facial tracking technology, which matches specific parts of a customer’s face to photos used in official documents.

These developments come shortly after Mastercard announced they were now allowing online shoppers to take a selfie to verify their identity for payments, a move which the company has now rolled out across 15 companies worldwide.

The benefits of facial recognition technology are endless and this banking process fits in conveniently with the modern day consumers hectic lifestyle, where banking is very much on-the-go. This new technology also doesn’t just ease the banking process, it protects it. With banking cybercrime at an all-time high, biometric tech like this which confirms identity so extensively makes accounts far harder to hack, protecting users from fraudulent situations.

New technology such as selfie verification is a somewhat natural step for banks. As an increasing number of customers are using only mobile devices to access their accounts, financial institutions have to embrace the way customer culture is changing or fear being left behind.

Banking? No problem! But first, let me take a selfie!

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