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Bank of Korea setting standards for biometric identification

The Bank of Korea will work with the Committee on Financial Informatization Promotion (CFIP) to implement new standards for biometric personal identification, such as vein and iris recognition, to be used for e-payment services, according to a report by Business Korea.

The CFIP will set up new technical standards for biometric personal identification by July, followed by a pilot phase in the second half of 2015 in which it will test these standards with domestic commercial banks.

The biometric personal identification standards are expected to be adopted by all 17 commercial banks in Korea next year, as soon as the technology’s security is assured.

“Some banks have already introduced fingerprint recognition, but the technique has been rather limited due to the high costs,” the Bank of Korea said in a statement. “These days, the focus is shifting to vein and iris recognition, and many ATMs outside of Korea allow cash withdrawal based on the biometric information in users’ veins in their fingers, palms, etc.”

The e-payment services will be segmented into five categories including SNS-based services, mobile cards, and e-wallets, which appear to have some commonalities with many of the existing e-payment services.

Additionally, the committee highlights security concerns, conflicting interests of industries, and regulations as the main factors preventing widespread adoption of the e-payment services.

Despite this, there is a strong possibility that more financial and non-financial companies will adopt these services, as the government is working towards eliminating the regulations.

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