Singapore’s OCBC Bank is using the country’s SingPass Face Verification system to allow customers to authorize transactions with facial recognition at its ATMs. The feature will debut at a single ATM on March 19, and will be available at another seven within the week. The system will then roll out to the rest of the bank’s network of 550 ATMs beginning in June.
At first, customers who use facial recognition will only be able to view their account balances when they log in. The utility will expand to cash withdrawals during the June rollout, and will expand again to cover other services (including deposits, transfers, and bill payments) in 2022.
Those who want to take advantage of the feature will first need to choose the service they are looking for. After that, they will be asked to enter their National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) number and submit to a facial recognition scan. The system will compare that scan to the biometric image associated with that NRIC number in Singapore’s National Digital Identity database, and allow the transaction to proceed once a match has been confirmed.
OCBC is the second Singapore bank to enable SingPass verification. DBS Bank has let retail banking customers use facial recognition to open personal accounts since completing a successful SingPass trial in July, and recently extended the service to support corporate accounts for small and medium-sized businesses.
OCBC, meanwhile, has allowed customers to use facial recognition to log into its mobile banking app since 2017. The financial institution has also used fingerprint biometrics to enable naked payments through a partnership with Touché, and introduced a feature that lets people use the OCBC Pay Anyone app to scan a QR code to make contactless cash withdrawals back in 2019. The bank has indicated that the use of QR withdrawals went up 88 percent in 2020.
March 19, 2021 – by Eric Weiss