HSBC introduces facial recognition to its mobile banking app in China

HSBC has introduced facial recognition capabilities in its mobile banking application for customers in China.

Using the biometric authentication option, HSBC’s Chinese customers can open their HSBC mobile app, blink at their camera using the selfie mode and transfer up to RMB50,000 (just over US$7,500) a day, make payments and add new payees to their account as part of a broader technological outreach program. Customers identity will be checked against the photo stored in bank’s database.

In addition, the bank also launched Video Teller Machines in Guangzhou and Shenzhen and Touch ID mobile banking applications in the region.

A recent HSBC survey found that nearly half of people interviewed in China believe facial recognition to be useful, which represents 16 percent above the global average.

The same study found that Chinese consumers embrace mobile payments to a greater degree than global averages, with the country’s mobile payments increasing by 31 percent on a year over year basis to reach 470 million in 2016.

“Digital technology is rapidly evolving and customers are now able to bank more simply, quickly and in the most secure way possible,” said Andrew Connell, head of digital (ASP) and innovation and partnerships at HSBC. “There’s a whole generation of consumers becoming more comfortable with technology.”

In June, a report by The Financial Times found that China’s technology firms are rushing to apply the commercial use of facial recognition technology, bypassing the same privacy concerns that have slowed the roll out of the technology in Western markets.

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