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Scotiabank incubator to develop biometric banking solutions


Scotiabank announced it is establishing Digital Factory, a downtown Toronto, Canada incubator dedicated to researching and developing digital banking solutions, such as biometrics technology, according to a report by Betakit.

The Digital Factory will hold more than 350 jobs for its tech talent, which will all work toward fulfilling its enterprise-wide mission of helping Scotiabank to provide a seamless, personalized customer experience.

Expected to open in mid-2016, the incubator will feature UI and UX designers, data scientists, and agile developers.

“Scotiabank’s Digital Factory will create an environment where our teams can be flexible, adventurous, empowered and challenged to design and deliver a game-changing customer experience,” said Michael Zerbs, executive vice president and co-head of information technology at Scotiabank. “We are excited to engage top technology minds to help us deliver on that experience.”

The incubator is just one of the several moves Scotiabank has made in recent years to developing financial technologies.

In 2012, Scotiabank acquired Tangerine, which was the first bank to adopt biometric authentication solutions through voice biometrics-enabled customer support and Touch ID fingerprint login for its mobile app.

The bank also created Rapid Labs, three customer-driven innovation labs which bring tech teams together to make banking easier for its customers.

“Through Scotiabank’s Digital Factory, we will hire in key areas to support customer-driven innovation and play a leading role in the revolution of banking,” said Kyle McNamara, executive vice president and co-head of information technology at ScotiaBank. “Technology’s role in delivering a superior customer experience will define banking for the next five to 10 years, and we have the opportunity to create an organization that will influence how that unfolds, right here and right now.”

Additionally, Scotiabank’s Tangerine entity continues to maintain its leadership position in adopting biometrics by piloting facial recognition technology on mobile phones and other technologies.

“No one is sure what the gold standard is going to be, so you have to have the ability to be trying and testing and see what works,” Tangerine CEO Peter Aceto recently told Bloomberg. “Certainly interacting with our mobile app using your face, using your voice, using your finger are things that we’re going to enhance and deploy in a much broader way.”

Tangerine said it is not yet ready to provide specific details on how the bank intends to use the technology.

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