Take a selfie to open a HSBC account

selfieHSBC business customers can now open new accounts by taking a selfie picture in order to verify their identity. In an attempt to replace the password, HSBC are using biometrics and are experimenting with new ways to authenticate their UK customers. Between them, HSBC and Barclays have already trialed fingerprints and used Voice IDs over the telephone, but HSBC now wants to let business customers use “selfie verification” to pass identity checks for new accounts via its new smartphone app.

A mobile app uses facial recognition software to take a head-shot of a customer, which is then compared against a photo ID uploaded by the customer, such as a driver’s license or passport.

Earlier this year, Malcolm Marshall, Global Head of Cyber Security Practice at KPMG, told Business Insider, “It’s time we found ways to get rid of the password. They are no longer viable and considering the extent of how much we live our lives online, we need to find ways to make ourselves more secure.
“After all, think of how many passwords we use and how hard it is to remember them all. Even I have had to constantly reset my passwords because I keep forgetting them.”

Business customers with HSBC will be able to open new accounts with a selfie as the high street bank seeks to simplify its application process. Prospective clients will be invited to provide a self-portrait shot on their phone, which the bank will then verify using facial recognition software before allowing them to make deposits and withdrawals.

“Through simplifying the ID verification process, we’ll be able to save our business customers time and open accounts quicker,” said HSBC’s head of global propositions for commercial banking, Richard Davies. “We also expect the convenience and speed of a selfie to become the verification method of choice for our customers, who no longer need to visit a branch to complete the process.”

Similar to Mastercard’s Identity Check, HSBC’s app will use proprietary facial tracking technology to ensure that customers are not fraudulently creating accounts. When a user snaps a selfie, the software will compare key parts of their face to images used in official documents pertaining to them from over 150 countries. It’s only once their identity has been fully verified that they be able to open a new account.

HSBC has already launched voice and fingerprint recognition technology for 15m customers, including First Direct and it’s not the only bank turning to technology. Barclays stopped using telephone passwords for voice recognition over the summer, while digital bank Atom is already using biometrics.

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Categories: biometrics

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