SingPass' new facial recognition technology, launched last Wednesday (July 29), allows Singapore residents to open an online banking account by taking a selfie.
Instead of entering your ATM or credit / debit card number and PIN, face recognition can be used as a substitute for traditional verification procedures.
DBS is the first bank to pilot the facial recognition service available in their Digibank app.
After launching the app, users can simply select their identity type, enter their identity number and choose SingPass Face Verification as the verification channel.
The next step is a selfie. The captured image is checked against the latest records in the government's biometric database.
After receiving and checking a one-time password (OTP) that was sent to your number by SMS, your online banking account will be created. The bank does not store facial data.
The official launch of SingPass Face Verification followed a successful test in July, in which over 100 seniors and students from ITE College West took part.
Participants reportedly said that facial recognition technology was easy to use.
Before implementing the face badge, applicants without a bank card or those who forgot their PIN had to wait up to five working days to receive confirmation by mail to activate their accounts.
Face recognition: the next frontier for fintech
The national biometric database was made available to private sector organizations without building their own facial verification systems.
The facial images and identities of over four million Singapore residents aged 15 and over are recorded in the database. This data was collected when applying for passports and NRICs.
The management of DBS announced that customers who take care of their banking activities digitally doubled from 2017 to 2019. Over a million customers have not visited a physical location in over a year.
DBS is launching the pilot program for over a million SingPass customers who may not be using digital banking. 60 percent of the potential customers are senior citizens (over 62 years).
The number of seniors in Singapore who actively use digital banking tripled in 2020 compared to 2019. This is partially the product of Covid-19 that accelerated digitization and remote service.
Face recognition technology is growing rapidly among fintech providers as competitors struggle to optimize the customer experience.
The industries compete to conquer undeserved markets, especially in older age groups who work largely offline.
Selected image source: DBS