The Financial ID Briefing brings you top highlights from the world of biometrics, mobile ID, and finance. It is powered by FindBiometrics and Money20/20.
Banking With a Selfie in Argentina
ICBC, the largest bank in the world by asset volume, recently embraced facial recognition based security at its Argentinian subsidiary. The biometric security comes via FacePhi’s FIDO Certified mobile authentication platform, Selphi. ICBC customers will be able to contactlessly authenticate into their mobile bank accounts with the front-facing cameras on their smartphones.
Facial recognition technology like Selphi is emerging as a popular authentication method in mobile banking. The software-based nature of face recognition enables users who own smartphones from the pre-biometric era to benefit from the enhanced security and convenience of strong authentication. And what’s more, as BioConnect CEO Rob Douglas mentioned on the Money20/20 Europe biometrics panel two weeks ago, facial recognition is the most intuitive and human identification method, therefore making selfie-finance the natural way to bank via mobile.
Paying With iPhones in Italy
Last week, Apple Pay expanded throughout Europe. The mobile wallet scored new bank support in France, Italy, and Spain. Apple Pay is now available now though Banca Mediolanum in Italy, and N26 in Spain, as well as four new financial institutions in France: Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne, Crédit Mutuel du Sud-Ouest, Crédit Mutuel Massif Central, and Crédit Mutuel Arkéa.
Apple Pay is also continuing to gain popularity stateside. Recently, 21 American banks and credit unions threw in their support for Apple’s mobile payment platform, which uses the built-in biometric functionality of the iPhone to authenticate payments at contactless terminals and online.
Shopping By Voice in Chinese
Alibaba is preparing to launch its Tmall Genie X1 smart home assistant, and in doing so will bring contactless biometric shopping to Chinese speaking users. Positioned as a low-cost competitor to Xaioyu and LingLong DingDong, the Tmall Genie X1 performs much like the Amazon Echo—it allows users to control connected devices throughout their home via voice command. The smart home hub can recognize user voices via biometric functionality, enabling contactless online shopping through the Tmall e-commerce website.
The biometric shopping functionality of the Tmall Genie X1 is an encouraging development as voice command continues to gain traction as the preferred user interface of the Internet of Things. While the consumer IoT’s promise of convenience is becoming apparent through its increasingly wide variety of use cases—from lighting control to door-locking—its breath of utility is stunted without an easy and assured identity management component. With voice-enabled e-commerce, Tmall Genie X1 joins the trend of bringing biometric recognition into the connected home, and giving residents a reason to use it too.