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HSBC business customers can open accounts with a selfie as ID

HSBC is using facial recognition technology in a mobile app to make it easier for business customers to open accounts.

HSBC has launched a mobile app that enables business customers to open accounts using a selfie as ID.

The app uses facial tracking technology to take a headshot, using an IOS or Android smartphone or tablet, which is then compared with other ID documents uploaded by the customers, such as a passport.

More than half of HSBC’s customers bank online, compared with 10% in 2013, and the facial recognition as an ID check on the mobile app will make it even easier for HSBC business customers to open accounts.

Richard Davies, head of global propositions for commercial banking at HSBC, said the app will save business customers time. It is also another nail in the coffin for bank branches.

“We 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,” said Davies.

Customers are increasingly demanding services through mobile devices. In its recent Way We Bank report, the British Bankers Association revealed there were 11 million log-ins to banking apps every day in 2015.

This is compared with 4.3 million log-ins to internet banking through bank websites, a 2% fall compared with the previous 12 months. The number of mobile banking app downloads in 2015 was 13.8 million, a 25% rise on 2014.

Consumers have already made it clear that biometric authentication can become mainstream in banking.

Read more about biometric security

A MasterCard pilot in the second half of 2015 revealed that 90% of consumers prefer using biometric identification, such as fingerprint and facial recognition, over passwords for online payments.

The six-month pilot was tested on 750 customers of Dutch bank ABN Amro, and was run by MasterCard and International Card Services (ICS). The pilot found 75% of the testers believed biometric payments will reduce fraud, and 77% want to continue using a fingerprint and facial recognition after the pilot.

MasterCard said commercial interest led to the company’s decision to launch the technology in the US, Canada and parts of Europe in the summer of 2016. ... ... ...

Read more on IT for financial services

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