Singapore’s DBS Bank is trying to make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to set up a corporate account with the financial institution. To that end, DBS has announced that SME owners can now verify their identities with a facial recognition scan when signing up for a new account online.
The feature is being realized through Singapore’s new SingPass Face Verification feature, which was developed primarily for the public sector to give people secure, passwordless access to various government services. However, the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) that launched the program indicated that it could be used in the private sector. DBS Bank integrated SingPass into its own digital banking app during a trial in July to give retail customers the opportunity to open accounts with facial recognition. The financial institution then followed that up with a separate trial for SMEs in November, ahead of the formal rollout of the feature.
The face scans are intended to replace DBS’s former authentication protocol, which forced SMEs to remember and enter DBS digibank credentials to confirm an application. However, the feature is optional, so applicants can still choose another authentication method during the account opening process.
According to DBS, customers who take advantage of the new option will be able to sign up for a new account in as little as 20 minutes. To do so, they will simply need to fill out an online form, and complete a facial recognition scan with a webcam or a mobile device.
“We have doubled down on our digital innovation efforts to make the customer onboarding journey as seamless and intuitive as possible,” said DBS SME Banking Head Joyce Tee. “This enables SMEs to remain focused on their business operations and stay ahead in today’s business environment.”
SingPass is a national digital identity program in Singapore. The database for the Face Verification feature contains more than 4 million images pulled from passports and national identity cards.
Source: The Straits Times
February 23, 2021 – by Eric Weiss