Mexican banks to install fingerprint readers to curb identity theft

Mexico’s National Banking and Security Commission (CNBV) has implemented a new initiative which will see the installation of biometric fingerprint readers in banks across the country in an effort to curb the growing frequency of identity theft, according to a report by Rivera Maya News.

The CNBV said that within the next 12 months, all banking institutions throughout Mexico will require an onsite fingerprint reader to verify the identity of clients.

When banking clients apply for a loan or activate a new account, banking staff will obtain the applicant’s 10 fingerprints and match them against information in the database of the National Electoral Institute.

The biometric identification method will be used for all banking clients requesting services including the application of credit cards and payroll, as well as a range of loans (personal, group, home and auto, and micro-credit loans).

Marcos Martinez, president of the Mexican Banking Association, said that the industry made the initial billion-peso (US$56.2 million) investment in the fingerprint technology.

He added that banks are willing to spend what is necessary to cut down on the number of identity theft cases in the Mexican financial system.

The current law states that a banking customer must submit two pieces of identification to either open a level 3 or 4 account with more than 17,000 peso (US$955), or apply for credit.

Under the new legislation, banking institutions will be required to collect fingerprint biometrics of their clients and establish a database.

The biometric technology also allows banks to verify clients by facial or speech recognition in the event that a client applies for credit online.

Last winter, Mastercard expanded its Identity Check Mobile application into Brazil and Mexico to allow cardholders to authenticate online payments via fingerprinting or via facial scanning on their smartphone.

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